Manchester Police announce that explosive found at Old Trafford was a training exersize error

Sean Callaghan, Sports Reporter

A suspicious item found at Old Trafford on Sunday, which caused Manchester United’s game against Bournemouth to be postponed, has now been identified as ‘a training device left in error’.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the device had accidentally been left by a private company following a training exercise involving explosive sniffer dogs held last Wednesday.

Shortly before the final league game of the season was due to kick-off at 3pm, ground staff alerted police to a suspicious item that had been found in the toilets within the North West quadrant, between the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and the Stretford End.

Initially, a partial evacuation of the stadium was put in place but a decision was made between police and Manchester United club officials to abandon the game and a full controlled evacuation of the stadium was undertaken.A controlled explosion was then carried out on the suspect package which was described as an ‘incredibly realistic-looking’ explosive device.

Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare from Greater Manchester Police 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.”

United executive-vice chairman Ed Woodward said: “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.”

Manchester United would go on to win the rescheduled match.

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