Westminster and Waterloo bridges close after discovery of WWII bomb
Find disrupts afternoon rush hour and threatens filming of Woody Harrelson's Lost in London
An unexploded bomb from World War II brought chaos to central London yesterday, forcing both Waterloo and Westminster bridges to close.
It was discovered by a dredger in the Thames near the House of Parliament during the afternoon rush hour and Westminster underground station was shut to passengers.
Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: "I'm on Southbank police closing everything as apparently they found WW2 bomb."
In an announcement on Twitter, Thames Clippers said the portion of the river where the bomb was found would be closed overnight. It reopened at around 3am on Friday, after the device had been removed following an operation by the Royal Navy and the Metropolitan Police.
A Port of London Authority spokesman told the BBC the object measured around two foot by one foot and has now been detonated safely.
As well as disrupting transport for commuters, the discovery also threatened Woody Harrelson's live-streamed film Lost In London - the final scene was due to be shot on Waterloo Bridge. However, by the time filming took place, in the early hours of Friday, the location was reopened.
Harrelson was incredulous at the time, telling reporters: "That thing has been there for 70 years and they discover it tonight? That's impossible."
Due to the massive scale of the German bombing campaign on the south of England during World War II, discoveries of unexploded bombs are not a rare occurrence in the region.
In November, a shopping centre was evacuated and ferry services stopped in Portsmouth when a device was found. It was towed out to sea and detonated.
In 2015, the discovery of a bomb near Wembley Stadium in north-west London was said to have posed "a genuine risk to life". It was removed by a specialist team and safely detonated.