Man Utd vs Bournemouth device was left behind after training exercise
Bomb disposal experts carried out controlled explosion at Old Trafford on what is described as incredibly lifelike explosive device…
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 15, 2016
The suspected bomb that caused yesterday’s match between Manchester United and Bournemouth to be abandoned had been left behind by a private firm after a security drills at Old Trafford.
Bomb disposal experts blew up the device in a controlled explosion after the ground had been evacuated. Once that process was complete, it was confirmed that the device was not viable and was instead a very realistic dummy.
United have stepped up their anti-terrorist security since the attempted suicide bombing on Stade de France last November. But that backfired yesterday when it emerged the device that caused panic and a costly postponement was planted by a security company during a training exercise for precisely the sort of operation that it sparked yesterday.
Greater Manchester Police‘s assistant chief constable, John O’Hare, said: “I am grateful to the Manchester United and Bournemouth supporters for their support and assistance today.
“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.”
Police also confirmed that the suspicious item that had been found in the toilets within the north-west quadrant of the stadium, between the Sir Alex Ferguson stand and the Stretford End.