Half-ton 'unexploded WWII-era bomb' carefully removed from London's Soho

4 February 2020, 00:34 | Updated: 4 February 2020, 00:36

An unexploded Second World War-era bomb weighing half a ton has been removed from the Soho district of central London, police have said.

Officers were called to a building site near Dean Street at 1.42pm after reports of the suspected explosive device.

People in the surrounding area were evacuated from offices and homes to allow a Royal Engineers bomb disposal unit to deal with the device safely.

Videos from the scene show police officers erecting cordons around the busy area, which is popular with tourists.

The cordon incorporates parts of the theatre district
The cordon incorporates parts of the theatre district. Picture: LBC News

Shortly after 8.30pm, the Metropolitan Police's Soho team said the cordons in Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue, Lexington Street and Poland Street had been lifted.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "An Army explosive ordnance disposal team has been called out to Soho to support the Metropolitan Police after discovery of a 500kg Second World War device.

"The Army EOD team have confirmed the bomb was safe to remove overnight to a location where it will be detonated.

"Military personnel are regularly required to assist with the disposal of historic ordnance such as this, ensuring every situation is dealt with as quickly as possible for the safety of the general public.

One worker in the area, George Turner, told LBC News that people in his office had been told to stay put as they were situated on the edge of the "blast radius".

He said: "We are just outside the radius. However, all the neighbouring offices have been evacuated.

"We've been advised to stay inside and away from the windows."

London Fire Brigade said also assisted police and had sent two fire engines to the scene.

The cordon covered large parts of the city's theatre district, prompting some with tickets for Monday evening shows whether performances would still be able to go ahead.