About 130 people have been evacuated in the East London neighborhood of Bethnal Green after an unexploded World War II bomb was discovered earlier today.
At around 1 p.m. local time, a 500-pound mortar shell was found by a crew working in the basement of a building. Police, firefighters, and bomb disposal experts were called to the scene, and residents living within about a 300-foot hazard zone were evacuated for the next 24 hours (at least).
It's believed the building is being renovated and the war remnant was unearthed during a precautionary bomb survey.
It will be examined by specialists and likely defused, which was the case with similar devices discovered in London neighborhoods Wembley and Bermondsey, as well as in Cologne, Germany earlier this year.
A local resident and performer called Lady Celeste Luminary told The Standard about her evacuation: "At around 12:30 p.m. I was reclining on the couch and I noticed police taping off the street outside. Next thing—bashing on the door.”
For now, the surrounding area is closed, motorists have been advised to steer clear, and an evacuation center has been set up at a nearby school.
The Ministry of Defence, London Fire Brigade, and local onlookers have all been documenting the developments and reactions via Twitter, so keep an eye on #BethnalGreen for updates.