THE DISCOVERY of an unexploded bomb, left over from World War 2, in the King George V Dock has seen residents and businesses evacuated and London City Airport shut down – all for safety reasons.
London City Airport posted a video on YouTube in which CEO Robert Sinclair explained that the safety of passengers and airport staff came first. The Airport was closed all day on Monday, 12th February – which is thought to have disrupted the travel plans of over 15,000 passengers travelling in and out on over 250 planes.
The news didn’t get through to all of those passengers – and many of them pitched up at the perimeter of the exclusion zone, luggage in hand, and no idea where to go or what to do. Many suggested that City Airport should have provided some sort of nearby facility for stuck passengers.
Newham Council stepped in to provide a rest centre for residents moved from their homes during the disposal process. It was only nearby streets which were evacuated at first, but when the experts began dealing with the bomb itself, more residents were evacuated.
The Docklands Light Railway suspended services between the Airport itself and Woolwich Arsenal.
It is unusual for bomb disposal to take this long, but there are extra problems with making this device safe as it is underwater. Bomb disposal specialists from the Metropolitan Police and the Royal Navy have been working together to deal with the underwater device.
After examining the bomb, the experts decided to lift the bomb using flotation devices and then tow it up the river overnight before blowing it up. They hope that this method will allow all residents to return home and all services to be back to normal on Tuesday.
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