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WW2 bomb found at George V Dock confirmed as unexploded half-tonne shell

PUBLISHED: 12:45 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 12 February 2018

City Airport and Royal Docks where unexploded waartime bomb was uncovered. Picture cource: London City Airport

City Airport and Royal Docks where unexploded waartime bomb was uncovered. Picture cource: London City Airport

London City Airport

Police and navy frogmen are working to free a half-tonne World War 2 shell from the bottom of the River Thames.

London City Airport was shut today with all flights cancelled after the 1.5m tapered end shell was found during pre-planned work.

The device is lodged in dense silt at George V Dock, said a Met Police spokesman.

Divers are currently attempting to free it so it can be floated and taken away.

“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,” the spokesman added.

Homes within a 214m exclusion zone were evactuated overnight ahead of specialists arriving at the scene.

The discovery did not surprise retired history professor Ged Martin, whose father Joe took charge of a nearby emergency shelter during the war.

“In later years, Joe Martin would say: ‘We heard the whistle of the bombs as they fell, and we heard the thump as they hit the ground, but they did not all explode’,” said Ged.

“At the time of his death, in 1968, he was worried by the building of tower blocks in Newham, predicting that more unexploded bombs would be found over the years.”

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