An unexploded WWII bomb that shut a London airport is being dragged out to sea to be blown up by the Royal Navy

Business Insider | Feb 13, 2018, 04.14PM IST

london city airport bomb lifting bag

Ministry of Defence/Business Insider

A Royal Navy bomb disposal team removes a World War II ordnance near London City Airport.

  • A World War II bomb was found near the runway of London City Airport on Sunday.
  • The airport shut on Sunday and Monday, with hundreds of flights cancelled.
  • The British Royal Navy dragged the bomb down the Thames overnight and plans to detonate it in the middle of the sea on Tuesday.

The Royal Navy has dragged an unexploded World War II bomb down the River Thames overnight and plans to detonate it at sea on Tuesday.

The bomb - a 500-kilogram tapered-end shell, measuring about 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) long - was discovered buried in dense silt near the runway of London City Airport on Sunday morning.

The airport shut on Sunday night and all of Monday so that London police and a Royal Navy bomb disposal team could remove the device. Hundreds of flights were cancelled, disrupting some 16,000 people's travel plans.

The bomb disposal team has since removed the bomb with a lifting bag and dragged it down the Thames overnight to Shoeburyness, a coastal town 60 kilometres east of the bomb's original location, a Royal Navy spokeswoman told Business Insider.

The unexploded ordnance is now at a military range in the sea off Shoeburyness, Essex. The navy plans to attach high-grade military detonators to blow it up around 11 a.m. local time (GMT) on Tuesday.

london city airport bomb shoeburyness

Google Maps/Business Insider

The British Royal Navy transported a World War II bomb down the Thames from east London to Shoeburyness, east England (rough rendering).

The area where the airport stands used to be an industrial centre, and came under heavy bombardment from German planes during the war. Unexploded bombs still occasionally turn up during construction work.

London City Airport operates flights to and from the UK and Europe, as well as New York. More than 4.5 million people used the airport last year.

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