Bomb squad called in after Old Trafford evacuation
Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious item discovered inside Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.
United’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth was called off yesterday after the security alert in the stadium’s North West Quadrant.
Greater Manchester Police announced in a statement on Twitter: “A controlled explosion has been carried out within the stadium by bomb disposal experts at Old Trafford.”
The Stretford End and Sir Alex Ferguson Stand were evacuated at around 2.40pm (UK time) after an announcement was made for security personnel to invoke ‘operation red code’, and shortly after 3.15pm those remaining in the ground were informed the game was off. A bomb disposal unit van was seen arriving at the stadium shortly before 4pm.
The 75,000-capacity stadium was around half-full at the time of the initial announcement.
The final match of the Premier League season for both teams will have to be played at a later date.
A Premier League source said it will be a “logistical challenge” to organise. United are busy next Saturday when they face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final, after which many of their players will disperse for international duty ahead of Euro 2016.
Meanwhile, United’s Champions League hopes are all but over after rivals Manchester City drew 1-1 at Swansea. That leaves United three points behind with the game in hand but City have scored 18 more goals.