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London City Airport shut: Flights cancelled after Second World War bomb found in River Thames dock

London City Airport has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

All flights into and out of the airport, in east London, will be stopped on Monday after the device was found nearby in the River Thames on Sunday.

The closure led to the cancellation of more than 100 departures and was affecting up to 16,000 passengers, according to a spokeswoman.

The device was discovered at the George V Dock at about 5am on Sunday during planned work at the airport.

Newham Council said the bomb was a German 500kg fused device and warned work to deal with it would last until Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police said the airport was shut at 10pm, as officers worked with the Royal Navy to remove the bomb.

The explosive device was found at the George V Dock, just yards from the City Airport dock

Credit:
Commission Air/Alamy

A 700ft (214-metre) exclusion zone was put in place on Sunday evening to ensure the device could be dealt with safely.

People living inside the zone were evacuated from their homes overnight, while police said a number of road cordons have been put in place in Newham.

Passengers were urged not to travel to the airport on Monday and advised to contact their airline.

On the trains, Docklands Light Railway services between Pontoon Dock and Woolwich Arsenal have been suspended.

Passengers warned not to travel to City Airport

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “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.”

Police urge motorists to find alternative routes

Specialist officers are working with the Royal Navy to remove the ordnance, the Metropolitan Police said.

A spokesman said:

“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.”

London City Airport is the 14th busiest in the UK with 4,540,000 passengers in 2017, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Newham Council evacuates residents in bomb alert

In a statement, Newham Council said:

“Officers are assisting with a controlled evacuation of people in this exclusion area. Affected at this stage are parts of Holt Road, Leonard Street, Lord Street, Newland Street, Tate Road, Muir Street and Kennard Street.

“Some residents have chosen to remain in their homes and others have made arrangements to stay with friends or family. A rest centre has been opened and Transport for London are ferrying people to it

“Work will not start on lifting and removing the device until the initial 214-metre zone is clear. When work starts to remove it, it is expected the exclusion zone will be extended to 250 metres and more properties will need to be evacuated.

“The operation is expected to continue until Tuesday morning. Further updates will follow. “

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/11/unexploded-world-war-two-bomb-grounds-flights-london-city-airport/

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