London City Airport Closed As WW2 Bomb Discovered In Thames

London City Airport Closed As WW2 Bomb Discovered In Thames

London City Airport was closed on Monday after a 500 kg (1,100 lb.) German World War II bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.

The airport was closed for the whole of Monday, with all flights in and out of London cancelled.

The airport will be shut all day and all flights are cancelled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, a spokeswoman said. Among the passengers affected were Tottenham Hotspur soccer fans heading to Italy for a Champions League match against Italian team Juventus.

City Airport operates short-haul flights and is located in east London, close to the Canary Wharf business district.

The device was found at George V Dock during work at London City Airport on Sunday morning.

Authorities said bomb specialists and the Royal Navy have confirmed the device is a German undetonated explosive and are working on removing it safely.

Local officials offered emergency accommodations to residents, although some refused to leave their homes.

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The Met said it was working with the Royal Navy to remove the device. "The first stage of the operation is to free the shell from the silt so it can be floated for removal".

"While every effort is being made to progress the operation as quickly as possible, it is important that all of the necessary steps and precautions are taken to ensure it is dealt with safely".

They will carry out a controlled explosion later today. "The aim is to cause as little disruption to the city of London as possible", the police statement explained.

Lieutenant commander Jonny Campbell, who is in charge of the diving unit disposing of the ordnance, said it will be exploded underwater.

The airport - which sits inside the exclusion zone - was closed, and the Metropolitan Police said properties nearby were evacuated.

London City Airport's runway, as seen in December 2016.

BA flight 2, flying overnight from New York JFK, diverted to Gatwick. More than four-and-a-half million passengers used the airport in 2016, according to figures from the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

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