One of Britain’s largest shopping centres, Westfield London, was evacuated today after an unexploded World War II bomb was found at a nearby building site.
Following the discovery, police cordened off the surrounding roads and evacuated all people from the shopping centre and neighbouring buildings within a 400m radius.
A spokesperson for the Metrpolitan Police said: “Police were called at 10:41am to a building site in Ariel Way, White City, W12, to reports of an unexploded ordnance.
“Officers attended the scene and found what is believed to be a WW2 shell approximately 13.5 inches in length and around six inches wide.”
Due to an unexploded WW2 shell found today north of the centre, we have closed Westfield White City until further notice.
— Westfield London (@westfieldlondon) July 8, 2015
Scotland yard later announced that specialist officers had removed the unexploded bomb for examination and shoppers were allowed back into the premise an hour later.
This isn’t the first time this has happened in London. In March, Tower Bridge was shut down and cordened off after an unexploded bomb was found just a mile away.
The finding of such weapons is not unheard of in London. It’s not an everyday occurence “but they are not massively uncommon where there’s building works going on,” a fireman told NBC after March’s discovery.
The Germans bombed the capital a total of 71 times during WWII and dropped roughly 100,000 tons of explosives on Britain, killing around 40,000 civilians.
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