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WWII bomb immobilised London City Airport - video

All flights operated by London City Airport have been cancelled after a 500kg WWII bomb was found in a body of water near the airport. 16,000 passengers had to change their plans as the operation to remove the dangerous cargo took a full day and night. An extremely dangerous find was made on Sunday morning
Published: February 16, 2018 - 07:30
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:27
WWII bomb immobilised London City Airport – video

All flights operated by London City Airport have been cancelled after a 500kg WWII bomb was found in a body of water near the airport. 16,000 passengers had to change their plans as the operation to remove the dangerous cargo took a full day and night.


An extremely dangerous find was made on Sunday morning 11 February in the waters of the Thames, specifically during work at the Georg V Dock. The WWII-era German bomb, found at a depth of 15 metres, measured 1.5 metres and weighed 500kg.

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According to a Metropolitan Police representative, the bomb was moved from where it was found to another location on the dock. Due to the potential threat posed by an explosive of this power, it was necessary to close the airport and evacuate nearby residents.

Royal Navy specialists then arrived on the scene and transported the payload underwater for 9 hours, towing it behind a RIB boat to a site called Shoeburyness, where it was planned to detonate the bomb in a controlled manner, without pulling it to the surface.

Lieutenant Commander Sean Heaton, who is one of the Royal Navy officers leading the cargo disposal operation, said the main challenge for the divers was the silt, mud and darkness on the bottom.

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[blockquote style=”2″]”In terms of removing the hazard from the dock area, we are constrained by the currents on the Thames. There is darkness on the bottom and the mud and silt makes the divers’ job even more difficult. We will attach a lifting device to the bomb, which will allow it to be lifted off the bottom and carried towards the surface. Once transported to Shoeburyness we will fit our own explosives and perform a controlled detonation.” – said Cmdr Lt Sean Heaton[/blockquote].

Due to the inclement weather, the detonation of the bomb was only carried out on Tuesday. It is estimated that around 10% of the bombs dropped over UK territory during World War II are unexploded ordnance. However, it is not known how many are still undiscovered and pose a threat. The bomb, discovered near London City Airport, is the fourth 500kg charge discovered in the last 15 months.

Source: bbc.com Photo: Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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