Monday, 12 February 2018

World War Two Bomb Closes London City Airport

An unexploded bomb left over from World War Two has forced London City Airport to close for the whole of Monday.

The ordinance was found in the River Thames on Sunday very close to the airport and following instruction from London's Metropolitan Police a 200-metre exclusion area was implemented to allow the Royal Navy to deal with the device.  

The bomb was found buried in silt at George V Dock and is understood to weigh approximately half a tonne and was found during work at the airport on Sunday afternoon. Removing the ordinance is proving difficult as the operation depends upon the tides, however, police believe it should be able to be removed by tomorrow morning.

The Metropolitan Police said a number of properties within the exclusion zone had been evacuated and a number of roads were still cordoned off.  “The timing of removal is dependant on the tides, however, at this stage, we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning,” police said in a statement, adding the bomb was lying in dense silt.

London City Airports CEO Robert Sinclare issued the following statement on Monday afternoon. 


Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport said  “The airport will remain closed for the rest of the day, following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock on Sunday.  An exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area."  

"Any passengers due to fly today are urged not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information. I’m pleased to say some airlines were able to secure space at alternative airports so that some flights can operate - CityJet operated out of Southend Airport and Alitalia used London's Stanstead."

"I recognise this has caused inconvenience for our passengers and in particular some of our local residents. The airport is cooperating fully with the Metropolitan Police, the Royal Navy and Newham council to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

The operation is proceeding well and we anticipate it to be completed during the course of this evening.  At this stage, we fully expect that the airport will be open as normal tomorrow.”

Passengers due to travel on Tuesday are asked not to arrive more than two hours before their flight.

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