A Second World War bomb dug up in the shadow of Wembley Stadium is being removed from London to be safely exploded.
The 100lb device will be destroyed outside of the capital in an undisclosed location, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
British Army disposal experts from the Royal Logistic Corps had been working since yesterday to defuse the bomb and make it safe to be transported with a military escort.
A spokesperson had warned of the “genuine risk to life” posed by the Luftwaffe Sprengbombe-Cylindrisch general purpose bomb, dropped by the Nazis in the early 1940s.
Builders unearthed it on a construction site near Wembley Stadium on Thursday, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of homes and businesses.
The two-foot-long bomb caused the cancellation of rehearsals for Britain’s Got Talent as Fountain Studios were closed and hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated.
A spokesperson for the Army said: “We will do all we can to minimise the disruption but ask the public to bear with us - any bomb, even under a controlled explosion could cause significant damage to property and there is a genuine risk to life."
Royal Engineers had built a blast wall around the bomb in case of an accidental explosion after it was excavated by officers who have dealt with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Police lifted a 400m safety cordon around the site this afternoon and allowed people to return to their businesses and homes.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mickey Gallagher, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “I recognise the disruption this incident will have had on local communities and am very grateful for the co-operation and understanding we saw.
“Everyone pulled together through this disruption with the local authority, local businesses and community centres providing much needed rest areas and refreshment for those affected.
“I must also thank our courageous soldiers from various Army regiments for working tirelessly for over 24 hours, using their skill and experience to safely bring this incident to its conclusion.”
Another Second World War bomb was dug up in Bermondsey, south-east London, in March.
The 5ft long SA-type explosive had remained undetected beneath a pensioners’ centre for 70 years until being disturbed by construction workers.
It was excavated and taken out of London by an escorted military vehicle and police to Kent, where a controlled explosion was carried out near the River Thames at Cliffe.
This weekend's Football League play-offs will take place as planned, Wembley Stadium said.
Additional reporting by PAReuse content