All’s well that ends well

Wembley Park saw an unexpected disruption recently as a WWII bomb was discovered on a site adjacent to the development on the afternoon of Thursday 21 May.

Army bomb disposal experts worked through Thursday night to stabilise and defuse the Sprengbombe-Cylindrisch general-purpose 50kg bomb, setting up a cordon which caused homes and offices to be evacuated as well as inevitable traffic disruption with the closure of Empire Way. The community at Wembley Park rallied together to ensure things ran as smoothly as possible, with London Designer Outlet and Hilton London Wembley remaining open for business.

It is believed the bomb was dropped over London during 1940s bombing raids and, unusually, it had not detonated. It had lain undisturbed for 70 years until being unearthed by mechanical diggers working on one of the building sites adjacent to Wembley Park. Bomb disposal teams from Northolt and Ashchurch Troops 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Royal Logistic Corps, and Sappers from Wimbish based 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal excavated and stabilised the device. Royal Engineers built safety structures around it to limit any explosion and reduce the required extent of the safety cordon. The experienced team already had experience dealing with Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

The media took great interest – see links below – with concern that the Playoff Finals and events at The SSE Arena might be disrupted. Locals gathered to watch numerous film crews reporting the story from the roundabout opposite the Wembley Park development. The bomb was safely removed from site on Friday afternoon, and all returned to normal, with preparations continuing for the busy weekend ahead. The bomb was taken to a site in Bedfordshire where it was later exploded.