The unearthing of an unexploded World War Two bomb, close to a Bermondsey housing estate, has triggered a mass evacuation.
Over 1,200 households close to the site are putting up at a nearby leisure centre as army experts try to defuse the 250kg bomb.
The bomb is thought to have been dropped by Luftwaffe planes during the Blitz on May 11, 1941.
A flyer to residents read: “On Monday 23 March a 250kg German air dropped bomb was found on a building site in Grange Walk, Bermondsey.
“The Army disposal team have advised that if the bomb explodes, buildings in the 200-metre zone will be significantly damaged and those close to the bomb will be destroyed.
“Remaining in your home is placing your life at significant risk. This course of action is not advised.”
Chief Superintendent Zander Gibson, Borough commander for Southwark, said: “We are working to ensure the disruption for local people is kept to a minimum, but unfortunately some disruption is unavoidable when dealing with an incident such as this.
“Our officers will be knocking on doors through the night to get this message across. We apologise for disturbing people in the middle of the night but it’s the only way we can ensure we are reaching everyone by 8am.
“We are working with the London Ambulance Service and Southwark Council to identify any vulnerable residents who need assistance and will ensure they receive the care they need during this process.
“As soon as the bomb has been made safe by our colleagues in the Army we will do what we can to tell people it is safe to go home.
“We really appreciate the patience of those affected and ask them to bear with us while the remainder of this operation is completed.”
Image source: The Army in London – HQ London District