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Planes on the runway at London City Airport (file photo). Victoria Jones/PA Wire

All flights in and out of London City Airport cancelled after discovery of World War II bomb nearby

The ordnance was discovered in King George V Dock, close to the runway of London’s most central airport.

Updated at 1.15pm

ALL FLIGHTS IN and out of London City Airport are cancelled today after a World War II bomb was discovered in the nearby River Thames.

The ordnance was discovered in King George V Dock, close to the runway of London’s most central airport, during planned works early on Sunday morning.

At about 10pm last night, Met Police and the Royal Navy decided to implement a 214-metre exclusion zone around the airport.

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

Met Police said that overnight officers had been helping to evacuate properties in the area and it was working to provide residents with temporary accommodation.

In a statement this lunchtime, it said that it is continuing to work with its Royal Navy partners to remove the bomb.

The device has been examined by Met Police and Royal Navy dive teams and is confirmed as being a 500kg tapered end shell measuring approximately 1.5m.
It is lying in a bed of dense silt and the first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal.

The Met Police said the timing of removal is dependant on the tides, but at this stage it  estimates that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning.

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.
We would like to thank everyone affected for their patience and cooperation. Every effort is being made to minimise disruption and officers continue to go door to door to ensure that those living within the exclusion zone are aware of the safety arrangements in place.


CityJet advised customers flying to and from the airport from Dublin not to proceed to the terminal as no access would be available.

It said that it would be operating an alternative schedule from Dublin to London Southend Airport (SEN) and advised customers travelling from London to proceed directly there.

In a statement on Twitter, London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair urged any passengers scheduled to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.

“The airport remains closed this morning following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock on Sunday,” 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.

Nearly 228,000 passengers passed through London City Airport last month.

The unexploded ordnance is being dealt with by specialist police officers working alongside the Royal Navy.

Thousands of bombs were dropped on London during the “Blitz” by German Air Forces between September 1940 and May 1941 during World War II.

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