A newly discovered bomb from World War II has , leading to the cancellation of at least 261 flights scheduled to arrive or depart that day. Police have set up a 700-foot (214 meter) exclusion zone while specialists attempt to remove the 1,100-pound (500 kilogram) bomb in time to resume flights on Tuesday.
The bomb was uncovered during planned work on a nearby dock, ultimately disrupting the travel plans of at least 16,000 fliers. The plan for dealing with the bomb is to make it safe (at least as safe as possible) for travel before transporting it to a disposal site for detonation. :
The Royal Navy said it was taking the necessary steps to "ensure the device is as safe as possible" before removing it from the sea bed and towing it away to a safe disposal site.
"We will then attach high-grade military explosives before carrying out a controlled explosion later today. The aim is to cause as little disruption to the city of London as possible.
"The first stage of the operation is to free the shell from the silt so it can be floated for removal."
The discovery of World War II bombs is a reasonably common occurrence in London given the amount of ordinance dropped on the city during the Blitz. While unexploded bombs that were dropped earlier during the campaign are harmless due to an electric fuse that loses effectiveness over time, later bombs employed a timed, clockwork detonation mechanism that renders so-called "duds" as very real dangers even to this day.
Hopefully removal will go off without a hitch.