All flights to and from London’s City Airport were canceled Monday after an unexploded World War II bomb was found in the River Thames at George V Dock.
The airport has been shut all day and all flights canceled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, officials said.
The device was found on Sunday and a cordon put up late that evening after discussions between the Royal Navy and Metropolitan Police.
The discovery was made as survey work was carried out as part of the airport’s £480 million expansion programme.
A spokesman said the device remains under water and is likely to be removed on Monday night, with the aim of reopening the airport on Tuesday.
“It is lying in a bed of dense silt and the first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal”– a spokesperson said.
Families in the area have been evacuated with the exclusion zone set to be widened when specialists from the Met Police and the Royal Navy begin removing the bomb.
“The operation to remove the ordnance is ongoing in partnership with our colleagues in the Royal Navy. The timing of removal is dependant on the tides, however, at this stage we estimate that the removal of the device from location will be completed by tomorrow morning.”
British Airways said it is working hard to dilute the problem.
“We are doing everything possible to minimize disruption for our customers following the closure of London City Airport”– BA said in a statement.
“We are rebooking customers due to travel today on to alternative flights or offering refunds for those who no longer wish to travel.” — it added.