During World War II, Germany bombarded Britain with hundreds of thousands of bombs. More than 70 years later, these explosives are still being found in unlikely places—including near London’s Victoria Station. The area was evacuated this morning after a suspected unexploded WWII bomb was discovered on a local building site.
According to Mirror.co.uk, police flooded the station around 9:30 a.m. local time and ordered thousands of commuters to evacuate Tube and mainline rail stations. Both London's Metropolitan Police and Victoria Station tweeted the news to alert the public.
The Tube and mainline rail stations were reopened around 10:15 a.m. along with local roads and bus stations.
This isn't the first time in recent months that London residents have faced the threat of WWII-era explosives. In January, another decades-old device was spotted in the East London neighborhood of Plaistow, forcing people to evacuate their homes. In May 2015, a bomb was found near Wembley Stadium in northwest London. And two months prior to that, a 500-pound bomb was discovered in Bermondsey, South London, causing hundreds of people to vacate the area. Police handled each incident by blocking off the premises, removing the devices, and taking them to a safe place for a controlled explosion.
The list goes on. Approximately 15,000 explosive devices were removed from UK construction sites between 2006 and 2008, according to the BBC. While it's impossible to guess how many World War II-era bombs still remain in London, we do know that the German Luftwaffe dropped 24,000 tons of explosives on the city during 85 major raids. Not all of those explosives went off, and many could still be buried in the ground. They're unlikely to detonate—but Matt Brosnan, a historian at the Imperial War Museum in England, believes we still shouldn't underestimate how dangerous they could be. "The risk is in their unpredictability. They are inherently unstable and still contain explosives, which is why they are treated so seriously and have to be disposed of properly and safely," Brosnan told the BBC.
For more news on London metro's scare, check out The Guardian's video coverage above.
All photos courtesy of iStock.