A 250kg Unexploded Bomb (UXB), dropped by the Luftwaffe during WWII, was found under the basement of a building site at Temple Street, Bethnal Green. Several roads were closed and properties within 150m of the site were evacuated for more than twenty-four hours whilst an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from the Royal Logistics Corps defuzed the bomb and removed it for a controlled detonation outside the city.
Located to the north of the London Docks and surrounded by critical transport infrastructure, Bethnal Green was a prime target for German bombing during WWII and recorded a very high bombing density. A look at a 1945 aerial view of the location of the UXB discovery – which was also hit by a V1 flying bomb – shows the level of devastation.
This is the third German UXB to be found in London this year, following earlier finds in Bermondsey and Wembley. It is a reminder that, although rare, UXBs still provide a potential hazard to construction works in the UK, particularly the capital.
It is therefore essential that appropriate risk assessments and mitigation methods are put in place to ensure the safety of people and property.