London City Airport closes as WW2 bomb found in Thames

A 500kg World War Two bomb was found near the runway in the River Thames 

London City Airport has been closed, with scheduled flights cancelled. (Photo:BBC)
London City Airport has been closed, with scheduled flights cancelled. (Photo:BBC)

London City Airport has been closed after a 500kg World War Two bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.

Passengers have been told not to travel to London City airport until further notice.

The airport will be shut all day and all flights cancelled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, a spokeswoman said.

The bomb was found at George V Dock on Sunday during pre-planned work at the east London airport, police said.

The Royal Navy and the Metropolitan police have created a 214 metre exclusion zone around George V dock in east London, which was heavily bombed during the second world war, following the discovery of the ordnance during pre-planned work at the airport on Sunday morning.

Families in the area have been evacuated with the exclusion zone set to be widened when specialists begin removing the device.

A statement issued by the Met said: "The timing of removal is dependent on the tides, however, at this stage we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning."

"All flights today are cancelled but some airlines have moved their flights to other airports - CityJet to Southend and Alitalia to Stansted", the airport said.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of the airport, apologised and said: "I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents.

"The airport is cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy and working hard to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

When work begins to lift and remove the device, the exclusion zone will be extended to 250m and more properties will need to be evacuated, the council said.

"While we endeavour to progress the operation as quickly as possible and minimise disruption, it is important that all of the necessary steps and precautions are taken to ensure it is dealt with safely," the Met said.

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