‘Bomb’ at Old Trafford was training device

A suspicious item found in Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium ahead of a key soccer game was actually a training device, police said on Sunday.

Shortly before the 3 p.m. kickoff, Manchester United staff alerted police to a suspicious item 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 while sniffer dogs searched the stands of the 75,000-capacity stadium.

The discovery of the “incredibly lifelike explosive device” Sunday prompted the evacuation of United’s game against AFC Bournemouth, which was then canceled.
“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,” Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare of the Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.
“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.”
Earlier in the day, fans praised United and emergency services for their handling of the situation.

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