Police: Old Trafford 'bomb' was dummy device left over from training exercise
A bomb disposal unit was called to Old Trafford to deal with a suspicious package
A bomb scare which led to Manchester United's final match of the season to be abandoned has taken a farcical turn after it was revealed that the device which led to a controlled explosion was a dummy bomb forgotten by a private company after a security training exercise.
A bomb disposal unit was called to Old Trafford to deal with a suspicious package that Goal understands resembled a pipe bomb and was found in an executive-suite toilet before kick-off.
The discovery of the item led to the evacuation of the stadium and the abandonment of the game, which has been rearranged for Tuesday evening.
After initially describing the 'bomb' as a hoax, Greater Manchester Police have now revealed it was accidentally left behind after a recent training exercise.
“I am grateful to the Manchester United and Bournemouth supporters for their support and assistance today,” assistant chief constable John O'Hare of the Greater Manchester Police said.
“Following today’s controlled explosion, we have since found out that the item was a training device which had accidentally been left by a private company following a training exercise involving explosive search dogs.
“Whilst this item did not turn out to be a viable explosive, on appearance this device was as real as could be, and the decision to evacuate the stadium was the right thing to do, until we could be sure that people were not at risk.
“Everyone remained calm, followed instructions, and worked with officers and stewards to ensure that a safe evacuation was quickly completed. Those present today were a credit to the football family and their actions should be recognised.
“I would also like to thank all those involved in the operation today for such a professional response, which includes police officers, stewards, MUFC staff, media representatives and commentators and the Bomb Disposal Team.”
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: “The safety of fans is always our highest priority. “I’d like to thank the support from the police which was first class and the impeccable response from fans of both teams.
“The Club takes security very seriously and staff are regularly trained with the police and emergency services to identify and deal with these incidents.
“We will investigate the incident to inform future actions and decisions.”
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