NEWS
12/02/2018 07:44 GMT | Updated 12/02/2018 14:19 GMT

London City Airport Closed After Unexploded Second World War Bomb Found Nearby

British Airways advises customers to check its website for latest updates.

London City Airport has been closed and all flights cancelled after an unexploded Second World War bomb was uncovered nearby in the River Thames.

The device was found at George V Dock during pre-planned work at the airport on Sunday morning.

Police set up a 214-metre (700ft) exclusion zone at 10pm on Sunday to decrease risks to the public after its origin was confirmed by specialist officers and the Royal Navy.

Up to 16,000 passengers are expected to be affected by the airport’s closure, a spokesperson told the BBC

Properties near the airport were evacuated overnight with residents moved into temporary emergency accommodation.

Road cordons have also been put in place with drivers warned about disruption to their journeys if travelling through Newham.

A tweet from the airport said: “All passengers due to travel from London City on Monday are advised to contact their airline for further information. Passengers are advised not to travel to the airport until further notice.”

British Airways apologied to customers on Monday and advised them to continue checking its website for the “very latest information about your journey. Before travelling to the airport, please check your flight status”.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew are always our top priorities and we would never operate a flight unless it was safe to do so,” the airline said in a statement. 

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

“While we endeavour to progess 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,” the Met said on Monday morning. 

Newham Council said on Monday that it had opened its Borough Emergency Control Centre and that officers were “assisting with a controlled evacuation of  people in this exclusion area”.

The affected areas include parts of Leonard, Lord, Newland, Muir and Kennard streets and Holt and Tate roads. 

“A rest centre has been opened and Transport for London are ferrying people to it,” the council said. 

The council said that when the bomb is removed the exclusion zone will be extended to 250m and more properties will be evacuated in an operation that will “continue” until Tuesday morning.