Suspected WWII bomb close to UK parliament prompts evacuation

After the suspected bomb was found in the river by Victoria Embankment, police cleared the area of people and also closed Waterloo Bridge which later partially reopened. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP London, United Kingdom Jan 19, 2017, 08.46 PM (IST)

London's Westminster Bridge in the shadow of parliament's Big Ben clock tower was closed on Thursday after a suspected World War II bomb was found in the River Thames, police said.

Police closed the bridge leading to the Houses of Parliament at around 5:15 pm (1715 GMT), while Westminster underground station was evacuated at around 6:00 pm.

"Please bear with us as we deal with dredged up suspected WWII ordnance... Road closures in area for safety," Westminster Police wrote on Twitter.

The tube station partially reopened at 6.45 pm, a Transport for London spokeswoman told AFP.

After the suspected bomb was found in the river by Victoria Embankment, police cleared the area of people and also closed Waterloo Bridge which later partially reopened.

The area sealed off included Horse Guards Avenue where the Old War Office Building is located, which was used by the British government during World War II and was bombed.

more than 12,000 metric tons of bombs were dropped on the British capital during the war, according to London's Imperial War Museum.

(AFP)