Safety fears delay Royal Navy’s bid to destroy bomb at London airport

Explosive Ordnance Disposal units from the Royal Navy dispose of a CT-500 500lb bomb from World War Two in the water at London City Airport. Picture: Sgt Paul Randall RLC
Explosive Ordnance Disposal units from the Royal Navy dispose of a CT-500 500lb bomb from World War Two in the water at London City Airport. Picture: Sgt Paul Randall RLC
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HIGH winds have scuppered an attempt by Royal Navy divers from Portsmouth to destroy a Second World War bomb in London today.

The 500kg device, which was unearthed near London City Airport over the weekend, was due to be exploded by the team from Portsmouth this morning.

Image attached shows the Royal Navy bomb disposal team at the scene **plus one stock image too MORE IMAGES TO COME LATER****''Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are working alongside the Metropolitan Police to safely remove a Second World War device found in the River Thames.

Image attached shows the Royal Navy bomb disposal team at the scene **plus one stock image too MORE IMAGES TO COME LATER****''Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are working alongside the Metropolitan Police to safely remove a Second World War device found in the River Thames.

However, with weather worsening, the Royal Navy has decided to postpone the detonation amid safety concerns.

Commander Del McKnight, the commanding officer of the Senior Service’s Fleet Diving Squadron, said: ‘With 30 knots of wind blowing onto the coast and sea swell of up to two metres we would be putting our divers at risk if we continued in this weather.

‘The bomb presents no risk to the public in its current location, so we will leave it where it currently sits until tomorrow.

‘We can then see if the weather dies down and creates a safer environment for us to destroy the ordnance.’

The historic ordnance was discovered on Sunday during a dredging operation in the River Thames.

Its discovery prompted airport bosses to close the transport hub on Monday, cancelling more than 100 flights in the process.

Divers from Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2), based on Horsea Island, were scrambled to the scene yesterday morning.

They have since been able to move the unexploded device from deep silt and float it out into the Thames Estuary.

The navy will use high-grade military explosives in a controlled explosion to destroy the ageing bomb.

The airport was re-opened today.