Unexploded German bomb closes City Airport and forces evacuation of homes

An unexploded German bomb from the Blitz has closed City Airport and the mass evacuation of homes in London’s docklands.

The ordnance was discovered in the River Thames shortly after 5am yesterday (sun) and specialist officers and the Royal Navy were called.

The airport, in east London, remained open during the day on Sunday and flights were not disrupted, with no evacuations or cordons required.

But on the advice of Royal Navy bomb disposal experts a 214-metre exclusion zone was set up at 10pm, and all flights in and out of the airport were cancelled.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said: “The airport remains closed this morning following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock on Sunday.

“All flights in and out of London City on Monday are cancelled and an exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area.

“I urge any passengers due to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.

“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.”

Scotland Yard said: “Police remain at the scene of a World War II ordnance discovered in the River Thames at George V Dock.

“The unexploded ordnance was discovered as part of pre-planned work at London City Airport and reported to the police at 5.06am on Sunday, 11 February.

“Specialist officers and the Royal Navy have attended and confirmed the nature of the device.

“At around 10pm on Sunday an operational decision was made with the Royal Navy to implement a 214-metre exclusion zone to ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public.

“Overnight, officers have been helping to evacuate properties within the exclusion zone and police are working with the local authority to provide residents with temporary emergency accommodation and the appropriate support.

“A number of road cordons are in place, and motorists planning to travel through this part of Newham borough are urged to seek alternative routes.

“The operation to remove the ordnance is ongoing in partnership with our colleagues in the Royal Navy.

“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.

“We would like to thank everyone affected for their patience and cooperation.”

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