Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Economy | By

London City Airport shut after World War II bomb found in Thames

London City Airport shut after World War II bomb found in Thames

At about 10pm last night, Met Police and the Royal Navy chose to implement a 214-metre exclusion zone around the airport.

London City Airport has been closed till further notice after an unexploded Second World War bomb was discovered nearby.

Passengers should contact their respective airlines for instructions, as some flights have been rerouted through nearby airports.

Robert Sinclair, the airport's chief executive, said if the removal of the device goes according to plan, the airport would reopen and flights would resume from 6.30am on Tuesday.

He added: "I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents".

The Royal Navy said it was taking the necessary steps to "ensure the device is as safe as possible" before removing it from the sea bed and towing it away to a safe disposal site.

London City, the smallest of London's worldwide airports, handled 4.5 million passengers a year ago.

Police setup a 200 metre (700 foot) cordon round the bomb's location and residents within the area were evacuated from their homes.

British Airways said it was trying to minimize disruption for passengers after the airport's closure.

The German Luftwaffe dropped about 25,000 tons of bombs on east London's Royal Docks during the Blitz, according to the Royal Docks Management Authority.

The explosive was discovered at the George V Dock during pre-planned work.

A 214-metre exclusion zone has been set up with properties being evacuated and temporary roadblocks set up.

More than 250 flights are expected to be disrupted today.

Police have also closed the London DLR between Pontoon Dock and Woolwich Arsenal as a precaution and a replacement bus service is available. It says anyone due to travel from the airport today should "continue to check on for the very latest information".

CityJet said its flights had been rescheduled to take off from London Southend Airport. The area was heavily bombed by Nazi forces during World War II.

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