The Royal Navy has safely detonated a 500kg World War 2 bomb found in the Thames.

The half-tonne bomb was found on Sunday (February 11) during survey work at King George V Dock opposite Woolwich ahead of planned developments at London City Airport.

A 214m exclusion zone had to be set up around the site of the 1.5metre bomb, and the airport had to be closed.

Bomb disposal experts moved the ordinance by 6pm the next day, but the explosive device could not be moved further until today (February 14) as poor weather made it unsafe for divers.

The bomb was taken out the Thames, right up by the Royal Navy Shoeburyness base, where at 12pm today trained bomb disposal experts detonated the device.

Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said: “I’m immensely proud of the Royal Navy bomb disposal teams who have worked in very difficult conditions over the last 36 hours to safely dispose of this Second World War bomb.

“Whether on operations overseas or held at high readiness for contingencies at home, our priority is always the safety and security of the UK.”

Lieutenant Commander Jonny Campbell, the officer in charge of Southern Diving Unit 2, said: “The operation to remove the Second World War bomb from London City Airport was extremely successful. My team worked incredibly hard to ensure public safety remained the priority at all times.

“Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are called out roughly every 18 hours to incidents such as this and we are well trained and well placed to deal with them. We are pleased that London City Airport was able to reopen yesterday while we safely detonate the device well away from any public areas out at sea.”

Robert Sinclair, the CEO of London City Airport, said: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Royal Navy and in particular, the team of expert divers for their professionalism and tireless efforts over a prolonged period to bring this operation to a safe conclusion."