London

Wembley WW2 live bomb posed 'risk to life'

The unexploded bomb found at a building site near Wembley Stadium Image copyright Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC
Image caption A blast wall was put up around the bomb to minimise damage if it exploded

An unexploded World War Two bomb uncovered by builders near Wembley Stadium posed "a genuine risk to life", the Army has said.

The 50kg (110lb) device was removed by a specialist Army team and safely detonated.

The bomb, thought to date from the early 1940s German air raids on London, was found on Thursday.

Homes and businesses were evacuated and the Army built a blast wall around the device in case it exploded.

The device was taken away by the Royal Logistic Corps disposal teams to a safe area to be detonated in a controlled explosion.

Police confirmed it was blown up in an unspecified location in Bedfordshire shortly after 17:00 BST.

After the bomb was removed from its position near Wembley, street cordons were taken down and people were allowed back into the area.

Wembley Stadium said its weekend games would go ahead including the Championship Middlesbrough v Norwich play-off on Monday.

"This weekend's games remain unaffected and we look forward to welcoming supporters of all six Football League Play-Off finalists to Wembley", it tweeted.

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Media captionChief Supt Michael Gallagher on plans for the detonation of the bomb

The Army said the bomb was located about 200m (656ft) away from Wembley Stadium but there was no risk to the venue. Empire Way had been partially closed and a 400m cordon was in place while bomb disposal experts dealt with the device.

The bomb was reported at about 15:00 BST on Thursday and Met Police officers said about 300 properties had been evacuated, which included the TV studio where Britain's Got Talent is filmed.

Image copyright Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC
Image caption The Luftwaffe Sprengbombe-Cylindrisch bomb is due to be detonated later

Ch Supt Mick Gallagher, from Brent Police, said the public had been "very mature" in its response to the bomb.

He said 70 people had spent the night in an evacuation centre and more people joined them in the morning.

"I must also thank our courageous soldiers from various Army regiments for working tirelessly for over 24 hours, using their skill and experience to safely bring this incident to its conclusion," he added.

An Army spokesman said: "This bomb is a live munition in a potentially dangerous condition so it's important that people listen to the police and evacuate their homes if asked.

"Any bomb, even under a controlled explosion, could cause significant damage to property and there is a genuine risk to life."

Image copyright Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC
Image caption The Army said the bomb was about 200m (656ft) away from the stadium

The Met Police said it had worked with disposal experts and partner agencies "to keep disruption to local residents and businesses to an absolute minimum", while ensuring everyone's safety.

In March, a 250kg (550lb) bomb was found in Bermondsey, south-east London. It was safely defused and taken to Kent to be destroyed.

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