Sixteen thousand passengers booked to fly in and out of London City airport on the busiest day of the week have had their flights cancelled as a Second World War bomb is made safe.
The airport adjoins George V Dock, where an unexploded bomb was found early on Sunday morning during work to expand the Docklands hub.
The Metropolitan Police said: “Specialist officers and the Royal Navy have attended and confirmed the nature of the device.”
At 10pm on Sunday, a 214-metre exclusion zone was imposed “to ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public”.
Some residents were evacuated, and roads closed. A Royal Navy bomb-disposal team is working to make the device safe.
Robert Sinclair, the airport’s chief executive, said: “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.”
Airlines are thought to likely lose more than £1m as a result of the closure.
British Airways said: “We are awaiting more information from the authorities and are keeping the situation under review.”
BA flight 2, flying overnight from New York JFK, diverted to Gatwick. The airline’s flight 8209 from Billund, operated by Sun-Air of Scandinavia, has diverted to Southend.
CityJet told passengers: “Please do not proceed to the terminal as no access is available and local DLR stations will be closed.”
The airline has diverted its Dublin services to Southend, but is offering passengers a full refund. Those who choose to fly from Southend will need to check in at the airport and have been advised to allow extra time.
The airport handled 4.5 million passengers last year, with Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin the most popular destinations.
Eurostar has availability on its trains for the rest of Monday between London St Pancras and Amsterdam via Brussels. Fares start at £155 one way.
Source: Independent Money News