The East London Advertiser story recounts some moments of excitement for the British Army bomb disposal team.
A loud triple bang was heard and vibration felt in a wide area of East London tonight as â€˜Hermann the stubborn Germanâ€™ Second World War bomb was detonated by the British Army.
The massive 2,200lb (1000 kg.) unexploded wartime device discovered by marine engineers dredging the River Lea at Bromley-by-Bow on Monday was finally defused tonight and the explosives packed inside burned off with a controlled explosion.
But the amount of explosives the 6ft by 2ft â€˜Hermannâ€™ was packing surprised most experienced Army engineers.
It would have torn a hole in the East End up to a-quarter-of-a-mile wide if it had explodedâ€”64 years to the day after Allied Forces landed at Normandy on D-Day 1944. This was Big Hermannâ€™s revenge.
There was still half-a-ton of high explosives left burning at 7pm, an hour after it was detonated.
Bob disposal experts have been describing â€˜Hermannâ€™ as â€œproven to be very stubbornâ€ and having developed â€œa personality of its own, almost like a petulant child.â€
â€˜Hermannâ€™ was stubborn from the outset, booby-trapped to thwart any daring Army sapper.
It had remained dormant for 67 years, buried in the muddy riverbed until it was unearthed at low tide by a mechanical digger.
But it didnâ€™t remain silent for long. It started ticking again on Wednesday, after nearly seven decades, following four failed attempts to defuse it by Army experts.
Tonightâ€™s controlled explosion displaced 400 tonnes of sand which had formed a protective â€˜iglooâ€™ around the bomb.
The officer in charge, Major Matt Davies, told the East London Advertiser: â€œWe were not exactly sure what to expect. The sand managed to contain the blast, which is what we wanted it to do.
â€œThere are so many different ways these bombs were made in the 1940s that you can never tell exactly how long it would take.â€
He added: â€œIf it had gone off in wartime there would have been large fragments up to a mile away which could have destroyed buildings and sewers.
â€œThis is the biggest unexploded bomb we have found in central London.â€
The sappers used a laser-guided water jet to cut two circles in the thick metal casing to run steam hoses to liquefy the high explosives packed tightly inside.
One Army engineer was sent back repeatedly to the ticking device to pour a salt solution into it, then used a powerful magnet to stop the timer.
Police Commander Simon Oâ€™Brien said: â€œThe engineer is a hero and has done Londoners a great service. It was a serious situation.â€ …
Pol Supt Phil Morgan said: â€œThey spent 12 hours neutralising the fuse which was booby trapped and had â€˜tamperâ€™ devices fitted.
â€œIf it had gone off, the blast would have reached more than 40,000ft in all directions, from Bow as far as Stratford.â€
The bomb was just a few hundred yards from the huge Bromley gasworks, a prime target for the Luftwaffe when Britain was at war.
It was a team of marine engineers widening the riverbank to take barges for Londonâ€™s 2012 Olympics construction who unwittingly found â€˜Hermann.â€™
â€œOur mechanical digger suddenly hit this large metal object about 6ft long on the riverbed,â€ engineer Andrew Cowie told the Advertiser on Monday, less than an hour after the discovery.
â€œWe had waited for the tide to go out and were working against time. We couldnâ€™t believe what we found. It was massive.
â€œWe called the foreman over and he quickly evacuated the site. We were taking no chances.â€