Tags: old trafford | evacuated | bomb | manchester united

Old Trafford Evacuated When Replica Bomb Found in Toilet, Postponing Game

Image: Old Trafford Evacuated When Replica Bomb Found in Toilet, Postponing Game
The scene where part of Old Trafford Stadium has been evacuated before Manchester United's final-day match against Bournemouth, due to a suspect package being found. Old Trafford evacuated ahead of Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth match, Manchester, Britain - 15 May 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 May 2016 11:45 AM

The Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, was evacuated Sunday because of a bomb scare just before a soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth was set to begin.

What turned out to be a dummy bomb was found in a toilet at the 75,000-seat stadium after a private company left it there following a training exercise involving explosive-search dogs, the BBC reported.

A bomb disposal team destroyed the device in a controlled explosion.

Unfortunately for fans, the Premier League match was called off not long after kickoff was postponed.

Tickets will be refunded, and ticketholders will be invited to watch the rescheduled match at no charge, an arrangement that will cost match organizers about £3m ($4.3 million).

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd called the incident a "fiasco" and demanded a full inquiry.

"This fiasco caused massive inconvenience to supporters who had come from far and wide to watch the match, wasted the time of huge numbers of police officers and the army's bomb squad, and unnecessarily put people in danger, as evacuating tens of thousands of people from a football stadium is not without risk," Lloyd said, according to The Independent.

"Whilst this in no way demeans the professionalism of the police and stewards responsible for getting the fans out, or the supporters' calmness and cooperation during the evacuation, it is unacceptable that it happened in the first place."

The controlled explosion damaged the stadium, making a rematch on Monday impossible, The Independent said, adding that it will be played on Tuesday instead.

Fan Alistair Carmichael described the evacuation to Sky News.

"We got chaperoned out to the car park … and then we got told to get as far away from the ground as we could. It was a bit of pandemonium to start with … people generally didn't understand what was going on."

Sunday's evacuation came under tightened security at Premier League stadiums following last year's terrorist attacks in Paris that included the Stade de France sports stadium, The Associated Press reported. It also followed the British government's move Wednesday to raise the threat level, saying there was a "strong possibility" of attacks by the Irish Republican Army.

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The Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, was evacuated Sunday because of a bomb scare just before a soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth was set to begin.
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Monday, 16 May 2016 11:45 AM
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