Thames WW2 bomb: Police say device won't be moved until tomorrow

The Royal Navy has sent specialist crews to assist the operation

The Royal Navy have released this picture from the scene

Monday, February 12, 2018

Passengers scheduled to fly from London City Airport are likely to face several more hours of chaos after police suggested the World War II bomb which closed the transport hub will not be moved until tomorrow.

Police are working to remove a 500kg shell, measuring approximately 1.5 metres in length, from the bed of the River Thames at George V Dock. The bomb was found at around 5pm yesterday (February 11) and forced the airport to shut down, with all flights cancelled.

Officers have also said they are working with the Royal Navy to remove the ordnance, which is buried in a bed of dense silt. The first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal.

Police say that the timing of the removal is dependent on the tides, but at this stage is the most likely outcome is that the bomb will not be removed until tomorrow morning (February 13).

The Met Police said in a statement: "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."

The bomb has already brought major disruption, with around 130 flights cancelled by 8am this morning.

The CEO of London City Airport, Robert Sinclair, said he recognised the situation would cause "inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents."

He explained the airport is "cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy" and is attempting to "safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible."