Bomb disposal experts disposed of a World War II bomb found on Thursday night in the River Thames, in the vicinity of the Houses of Parliament.
The bomb was unearthed by a dredger operating in the Thames near Victoria Embankment.
After the bomb discovery, Metropolitan Police called Royal Navy’s bomb disposal experts to London’s Westminster Bridge who eventually towed it along the Thames and out towards Tilbury, where it was safely detonated at around 6am on Friday.
The operation caused traffic jams as the Waterloo and Westminster bridges were closed for several hours due to safety reasons. Westminster Underground Station was also closed temporarily, and river traffic was halted.
“It was a long night for me and the team but this is exactly what we are trained for so it was a successful operation, although it was a little surreal carrying out our job right next to the Houses of Parliament,” said Lieutenant Mike St Pierre, the officer who led the bomb disposal team on scene.
“I’d like to thank the authorities who worked with us so well on this operation, particularly the Met Police. The bomb itself was in good condition considering how old it was, and it clearly still presented a danger.
“We removed it from the barge and towed it along the Thames, working very closely with the Met Police to safely close off bridges as we went, until we were sure we could detonate it safely.”
The device was identified as a German SD 50kg bomb, a small armour-piercing bomb dropped from an aircraft.