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(AFP) – London City Airport was closed on Monday as military experts worked to remove a 500-kilogramme (1,100-pound) German World War II bomb found in a neighbouring dock.
The unexploded ordnance was discovered in King George V Dock, during planned works near the runway of London’s most central airport.
British police said the 1.5-metre (five-foot) shell was “lying in a bed of dense silt” and removing it depended on the tides.
“At this stage we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Monday’s shutdown affected up to 16,000 passengers who were due to fly, although some airlines switched their flights to other London hubs.
The bomb was discovered at around 5:00 am on Sunday and a 214-metre exclusion zone was imposed “to ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public,” police said.
Homes within the exclusion zone were evacuated overnight and the local authority was providing residents with temporary accommodation and support.