Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 21:38 UK

Unexploded WWII bomb is detonated

The bomb is detonated
A controlled explosion was carried out on Friday

An unexploded World War II bomb that forced the closure of transport links in east London has been detonated.

The 1,000kg (2,200lb) device, found near Bromley-by-Bow Tube station, was picked up by a digger clearing a site being prepared for the 2012 Olympics.

Fifteen disposal experts from the Royal Engineers made the bomb safe after it started ticking and carried out a controlled explosion on Friday.

Tube and railway lines affected by the incident have now returned to normal.

The bomb was discovered next to a gasworks and police were initially considering evacuating 40,000 people from the vicinity while it was disarmed, but eventually only a few barges close to the site had to be evacuated.

A safety cordon was put in place around the area which affected Tube and train services running nearby and a controlled explosion was carried out just before 1800 BST.

Unexploded bomb
Work to disarm the bomb disrupted rush-hour rail travel

A police spokesman said a large amount of explosives remained after the blast, which now needed to be slowly burned.

Major Matt Davies, from the Royal Engineers, said of the bomb disposal officer who disarmed the device: "He's been under an incredible amount of pressure for the last few days and the relief just saps all your energy."

As well as disrupting train and Tube services, an air exclusion zone affected flights from City and Heathrow Airports for 24 hours.

The bomb was the largest World War II device to be found in 30 years.

If it had exploded, Maj Davies said: "It would have been a bloody big crater and you would have got large fragments that could travel up to a kilometre-and-a-half away, which could be extremely dangerous."

Unexploded bomb disrupts travel
05 Jun 08 |  London
Wartime bomb find disrupts Tube
02 Jun 08 |  London

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Evening Standard Second World War bomb which caused commuter chaos has been diffused - 30 mins ago
Daily Mail Second World War bomb which caused commuter chaos has been diffused - 3 hrs ago
Biggleswade Chronicle WWII bomb disrupts transport routes - 6 hrs ago
Evening Gazette Rail boss tells commuters: Don't bother going to work today - 7 hrs ago
Hemel Hempstead Gazette Transport disrupted by WWII bomb find - 12 hrs ago

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