Military bomb disposal experts have arrived at Temple Street, Bethnal Green after an unexploded 250kg World War Two device was discovered.
Military personnel from 621 Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, have worked through the night to stabilise the bomb, which is believed to have been dropped over London during German bombing raids in the early 1940s but did not detonate.
The bomb in question has lain undisturbed deep in the ground for 70 years but was unearthed yesterday afternoon.
An Army spokesperson said:
I am the Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal Commander from 11 EOD Royal Logistic Corps in charge of this operation.
I would like to thank all local residents for their patience. We understand the disruption this has caused but be reassured my team has been working tirelessly through the night in order to minimise the inconvenience to everyone involved.
I can confirm that the device is a German WW2 air delivered bomb weighing 250kg which if detonated could cause mass destruction. The bomb has been in the ground for more than 70 years but unlike a fine wine does not improve with age. It is potentially more dangerous today than the day it was made.
The bomb is located in the cellar of a 3 storey building which has severely restricted access. During the night we have positively identified it dug round it so we can then neutralise the fuse using a complex but tried and tested chemical process called immunisation.
Once that process is complete we will be in a better position to remove the bomb from London in conjunction with our colleagues from London Fire Brigade, the Met Police, and Tower Hamlets Borough Council so that you can return to your homes.
The military EOD teams have extensive experience with these situations, having operated in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
Earlier this year they detonated similar devices discovered in Wembley and Bermondsey.