Unexploded World War II Bomb Found in South London's Bermondsey District

Police respond at the scene for an unexploded WWII bomb was found in London.
Police respond at the scene for an unexploded WWII bomb was found in London.Matthew Barksby

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Residents who live in a quarter-mile area surrounding an unexploded World War II bomb that was discovered in a South London construction zone Monday will have to evacuate their homes Tuesday morning as crews work to safely remove it.

The five-foot long, half-ton bomb was discovered at a construction site in the Bermondsey district in the borough of Southwark, London's Metropolitan police said in a statement.

Nearby residents had to evacuate their homes, but many were allowed back Monday afternoon, according to statement from the Southwark borough government. Police will be knocking on the same residents’ doors throughout the night and asking them to leave again by 8 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) Tuesday so that Army bomb disposal experts can work in the area.

"We are working with Southwark Council and other partner agencies to ensure the disruption for local people is kept to a minimum, but unfortunately some disruption is unavoidable when dealing with an incident such as this,” said Southwark’sChief Superintendent Zander Gibson.

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The Southwark government estimates that 1,200 properties will be affected until late afternoon, according to a statement.

Officers and firefighters responded to a call about the bomb at 9:18 a.m. local time (5:18 a.m. ET).

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) tweeted that roads were closed and encouraged displaced residents to contact authorities for shelter information. Two schools were also evacuated, according to the government statement.

An LFB spokesman told NBC News that discoveries of unexploded bombs in the city don't "happen every day but they are not massively uncommon where there's building works going on."

The LFB said in a tweet that they had responded to seven unexploded bombs and five hand grenades in the past five years.

"Obviously London was heavily bombed during the Second World War," the LFB spokesman told NBC News.


— Elisha Fieldstadt and Alexander Smith