Army Bomb disposal experts have been called in to deal with an unexploded air drop World War 2-era SC 250kg German bomb near the Shard in Bermondsey.
The bomb will have been dropped over London by the Luftwaffe in the 1940s but unusually did not detonate. It has lain undisturbed deep in the ground for 70 years but was uncovered yesterday during construction works.
Bomb disposal teams from Shorncliffe Troop 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Royal Logistic Corps and Sappers from 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal are involved in excavating the device so that it can be safely defused.
The operation will take many hours as the bomb's position is awkward: trenches will have to be dug carefully beneath the bomb in order to access the fuse which is underneath the device. In the interim, Royal Engineers are building a safety Hesco 'igloo' around the bomb to limit any explosion.
"Bombs don’t like being bashed around"
Once the fuse is revealed the Royal Logistic Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts will attempt to make the bomb safe.
The Royal Logistic Corps Staff Sergeant in charge of the operation described the situation: “This bomb is potentially dangerous, and while it has lain dormant for a long time it was uncovered by some pretty heavy building machinery which is never a good thing. Bombs don’t like being bashed around.
"These bombs are safe while not touched. We’ve uncovered it, identified it, so we know what we’re dealing with. When faced with these jobs we never get nervous. It is just a puzzle to be solved".
Reassuringly he added: "The team is very well experienced. They’ve dealt with Improvised Explosive Devices in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland which are much more complex than a WW2 munition.”
Due to wide scale enemy bombing in this part of London during WW2 it is not unusual to come across unexploded bombs. If ever a member of the public comes across anything of this nature the advice is strictly to leave well alone and call the police immediately.
All photos provided courtesy of Photographer Sgt Rupert Frere; Crown Copyright