London City Airport shut as WW2 bomb found in Thames


Airport

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The device was discovered during planned works at the airport

London City Airport has been closed after a World War Two bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.

The airport will be shut all day and all flights cancelled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, a spokeswoman said.

The bomb was discovered at about 05:00 GMT on Sunday at George V Dock during pre-planned work at the airport in east London, the Met Police said.

The airport was shut at 22:00 and the Met said it was working with the Royal Navy to remove the device.

According to the airport’s website, a total of 261 arrivals and departures were scheduled for Monday – with 130 flights having been cancelled earlier.

“All flights today are cancelled but some airlines have moved their flights to other airports – CityJet to Southend and Alitalia to Stansted”, the airport said.

Passengers have been told not to travel to the airport as the terminal is closed and to contact their airline.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of the airport, apologised and said: “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.”

Members of airport staff are on Hartmann Road, the main route to the airport, to help redirect people.

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People have been evacuated from properties within a 214m exclusion zone

Airlines using London City Airport include British Airways, Flybe, CityJet, KLM and Lufthansa, with flights to domestic and European city destinations.

Police said a 214-metre exclusion zone had been set up and properties inside were evacuated, with Newham Council providing temporary emergency accommodation to residents.

“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,” the Met said.

“We would like to thank everyone affected for their patience and cooperation.”

Second WW2 bomb found in Bristol Channel near Hinkley Point

WW2 bomb detonated safely near M6 in Birmingham

Another World War Two shell found at Warrington building site

Police said a number of road cordons were in place and advised motorists to avoid the area.

Docklands Light Railway services between the airport and Woolwich Arsenal have also been suspended.

Passengers have used social media to express confusion and frustration following the closure.

Twitter user Richard Macey talked about his Dublin flight being cancelled.

Another user said they were attempting to book a new flight to Aberdeen.


At the scene: Greg McKenzie, BBC Radio London

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A police cordon is in place around houses in Silvertown, Newham

People have been arriving at London City Airport DLR station – many with suitcases and some unsure about what is happening.

I’ve managed to get into a tower block in Silvertown – directly opposite the airport.

From the tenth floor I can see the runway – which is empty.

On a usual Monday you’d expect a plane landing every 20 minutes.

I saw about 10 British Airways planes grounded at the airport.


Last year, more than 4.5 million passengers used London City Airport.

A £400m expansion was given the go-ahead by ministers in July 2016, which includes extending the terminal.

Two million more passengers per year will be able to use the airport from 2025, with 30,000 additional flights annually, the airport said.

Image copyright
PA

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The airport will undergo a £400m expansion



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