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Unexploded Ordinance Homes evacuated after WWII-era bomb discovered in the Thames

OFFICIALS from Newham Council were going door-to-door today to try to persuade residents to evacuate their homes after an unexploded World War II bomb was found in east London.

Navy and police experts tried to float the five-foot-long device from its resting place in King George V Dock after it was found yesterday morning.

It was identified as a German 500kg fused device and police set up a 234-yard exclusion zone around it, but some residents initially refused to leave their homes.

Newham Council said it was likely that all residents within the exclusion zone would need to be evacuated before work to remove the bomb can begin.

It is expected the exclusion zone will be extended to 273 yards once work has started, meaning more homes would need to be evacuated.

The council said a rest centre had been opened where bedding and refreshments were available for families who have been unable to stay with family or friends.

More than 100 departures out of London City Airport were cancelled today and the Docklands Light Railway was also suspended between Woolwich Arsenal and Pontoon Dock.

The Metropolitan Police said the shell was “lying in a bed of dense silt and the first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal.”

Scotland Yard added that the “timing of removal is dependant on the tides,” but estimated that the bomb would be removed by tomorrow morning.

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