City airport reopens after World War II bomb removal

LONDON_CITY_AIRPORT_SEP_2012

An unexploded bomb from World War II shuts down London's City Airport, leaving all flights in and out of the airport cancelled and affecting up to 16,000 passengers.

The airport closed Sunday night through Monday, with hundreds of flights canceled.

London City Airport's Chief Executive Robert Sinclair said it would be "business as usual" on Tuesday.

Police said they expected the bomb at George V Dock in east London would be removed by early Tuesday, having set up a 200-metre exclusion zone after the ordnance was found during work at the airport on Sunday.

London City Airport opened in 1987 in the disused docklands. Homes and properties inside the exclusion zone were also evacuated.

The bomb disposal operation initially saw the evacuation of up to 500 residents, who were allowed to return to their homes on Monday evening while others were evacuated from another area after the 1.5-metre (five-foot) shell was moved within the dock.

Lieutenant commander Jonny Campbell, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy's Southern Diving Unit 2, said: "We are taking the necessary steps to ensure the device is as safe as possible before we remove it from the sea bed and tow it away to a safe disposal site".

According to the airport's website, a total of 261 arrivals and departures had been scheduled for Monday.

London City, the smallest of London's global airports, is located in east London's docklands, an area that was heavily bombed by Nazi Germany during World War II. I urge any passengers due to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.

London was heavily bombed during the "Blitz", the Nazi German air attacks of September 1940 to May 1941.

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