Manchester United’s match against Bournemouth was cancelled this Sunday after a suspicious bomb device was found.
The supposed last day of the Premier League in Old Trafford was halted after the security staff found a mobile phone with wires attached to a gas pipe. Mirror Online reports that the bomb device was found in the men’s toilet cubicle in Sir Ferguson stand.
The game which had more than 70,000 in attendance were slowly and calmly evacuated, according to Sports Illustrated. Fans waiting for the game to start were advised at around 2:34PM about the suspicious package. Authorities were quick to label it as a “Code Red” situation. Evacuation of the 20,000 fans from the Sir Ferguson stand and Stretford end was prioritised.
Soon after, the rest of the stadium was quickly dispersed to safety. Though fans were disappointed they were unable to see the match, they were all safe.
A bomb expert declared that the bomb may be a live device, thus the evacuation and cancellation of the game. Bomb teams quickly underwent protocol. They created a sterile zone from which they can did a controlled explosion. After some tests, the suspected device was declared not ‘viable.’
A Greater Manchester police spokesman has briefed that “full assessment now concluded and found device wasn’t viable. A full search of the stadium is ongoing.”
Meanwhile, Premier League has spoken about the incident saying, “It is always the last resort to abandon one of our fixtures and while we apologise for the inconvenience caused to fans we are sure, in the circumstances, they will appreciate the need to so.”
Sean Bones, Mancester United Supporters’ Trust vice chairman, said in a statement that it was a “dark day in Premier League history. We have obviously got to give our thanks to the club and the authorities for getting supporters out of the ground safely and home to their families.”
The match between Manchester United and Bournemouth has since been rescheduled. They will meet again on Tuesday, 8:00PM (Wednesday, 5:00AM NSW).