Wednesday 28 June 2017

River Thames 'Second World War bomb' towed away for safe disposal

Police in Parliament Square, London, as a suspected unexploded Second World War bomb has been found in the River Thames, forcing the closure of Waterloo and Westminster bridges in London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Police in Parliament Square, London, as a suspected unexploded Second World War bomb has been found in the River Thames, forcing the closure of Waterloo and Westminster bridges in London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A suspected Second World War bomb found in the River Thames near the Houses of Parliament has been towed away for safe disposal, police said.

The operation by the Royal Navy and Metropolitan Police to recover the unexploded bomb led to disruption in central London on Thursday.

The Waterloo and Westminster bridges were forced to shut for several hours, Westminster underground station closed and river traffic halted after the device was dredged up near the Victoria Embankment.

The riverfront remained closed until around 3am on Friday morning as the device was removed.

Large crowds of tourists and passers-by had gathered at the police tape with some calmly taking photographs of the odd sight.

A Port of London Authority spokesman told the BBC that the suspicious object measured around "2 ft by 1 ft" (60cm x 30cm).

Scotland Yard said specialist officers had assessed the device and alerted the Royal Navy after they were called to the River Thames at 5.15pm on Thursday.

"The Royal Navy have now successfully removed the ordnance and will dispose of it," a police spokesman said.

The disruption had threatened to derail Lost In London, a "live cinema" project by Woody Harrelson.

The US actor planned to recreate a disastrous night out in the capital with the film broadcast directly into cinemas from location.

Some scenes were shot near Waterloo Bridge, but the event went ahead as planned, according to Kate Muir, chief film critic of The Times.

She tweeted: "Woody Harrelson's live-streamed movie #lostinlondon succeeded without a glitch, despite, apparently, a WWII bomb scare in the Thames."

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