Machester United’s Old Trafford Stadium suffered a stressing confusion on Sunday. The game Machester United vs. AFC Bournemouth was cancelled after the entire stadium got evacuated when an explosive device alert was triggered. A suspicious item was found around 3 p.m. in the structure and it looked like an explosive artefact.

Police officers later found out that the item was, in fact, a training device that was left behind by a private company that was executing some exercises involving the search of explosive objects in public spaces.

Old Trafford Stadium evacuated
Fans and players evacuated the Old Trafford Stadium after an explosive device alert. Credit: Boston Herald

The alert

It was the Manchester’s United staff that first alerted the authorities about the device. They found the item in the toilets, near the North West part of the Stadium. Immediately, police officers responded and arrived with trained dogs for sniffing the area. Those sniffer dogs then patrolled the entire zone of stands.

Authorities initiated a partial evacuation in the stadium, but later the decision was to make a full evacuation avoiding risks to the safety of all the individuals that attended the match. The controlled evacuation was carried out while experts in explosives decided to detonate the item in a controlled environment in order to execute the most appropriate disposal.

Evacuation justified

According to the Chief of the Greater Manchester Police Department, the decision to evacuate the stadium was accurate, since the device actually had all the features that explosive items usually present. To the police, situations where some risk exists, even if then it turns out to be a false alarm, requires immediate action towards the protection of the public.

The evacuation was executed in calm and with no remarkable incidents. It was quickly completed and the only effect was the cancellation of the final game of the English Premier League season, but most fans expressed in social networks their support to the Police Department decision and thanked the authorities for “an extraordinary work.”

The Premier League also stated their gratitude towards the authorities and said to the audience that the Soccer Club’s management organized quickly the rearrange of the match, that now is going to be held on Tuesday.

Source: CNN