A fake bomb caused a mass evacuation of fans from the 75,635-seat of Manchester United’s stadium on Sunday. The interruption was on the final day of the English Premier League season where Manchester United was up against Bournemouth.
The device was found by Manchester United’s staff in a toilet. Police described the suspicious device as “incredibly lifelike explosive device” and a partial evacuation turned into a full evacuation of the stadium. Some fans booed when they were told to leave the building. On the other hand, players from both teams were kept in the changing rooms.
Several hours later, the bomb technicians carried out a controlled explosion and declared the bomb was a fake. Police revealed in a statement that the device was actually left in a toilet for a training exercise. John O’Hare, assistant chief constable from Great Manchester Police, said “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.”
He added regarding the evacuation: “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.”
Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman stated “The club takes security very seriously and staff are regularly trained with the police and emergency services to identify and deal with these incidents.”
The match has been rescheduled for Tuesday and Premier League mentioned “We would like to thank Manchester United’s staff, the police and other emergency services for all their efforts today as well as rearranging the match for this coming Tuesday.”