London airport closes after construction workers find 500kg bomb

London City Airport has been closed after a 500kg bomb was found during work at St George’s Dock, which surrounds its single runway.

Robert Sinclair, the airport’s chief executive, said in a statement: "The airport remains closed this morning following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance on Sunday. All flights in and out of London City on Monday are cancelled and an exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area.

"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."

The 200m exclusion zone, which was imposed when the airport was closed at 11pm last night, will be widened when Royal Navy bomb disposal experts begin making the bomb safe. Newham council has arranged emergency accommodation for local residents. 

About 16,000 passengers use the airport a day to travel to destination around the UK and Europe. Airlines using London City Airport include British Airways, Flybe, CityJet, KLM and Lufthansa.

A total of 261 arrivals and departures were scheduled for Monday. Some flights have been redirected to Stansted airport in Essex.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "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 discovery of Second World War bombs is a global problem. Two weeks ago, two American bombs were discovered on Hong Kong Island, and last year a Bangladeshi worker was killed and two seriously injured at a building site in Kuala Lumpur when a device exploded.

Image: The airport in the east London’s Docklands area (London City Airport)

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