Suspicious package triggers alarm at Manchester United match

Bomb disposal experts detonate 'lifelike explosive device' at Old Trafford stadium which triggered an alarm and caused a consequent evacuation.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police evacuate Old Trafford stadium after a suspected package was found on May 15, 2016.

A match between Manchester United and Bournemouth on Sunday was postponed when the police discovered a suspicious package before the game at Old Trafford stadium.

Police ordered Manchester United to abandon their final Premier League game of the season against Bournemouth and evacuated the stadium after the alert was sounded about 20 minutes before the scheduled 1400 GMT kickoff. 


he decision to evacuate the stadium was made after an emergency meeting with authorities and various club executives.

Tweets form the Manchester police advised people to “avoid the area if possible”. Manchester United confirmed that a security alert caused the abrupt cancellation of the game.

Fans in the South and East Stands including those travelling Bournemouth were instructed through public announcements to remain in their seats before the game was called off.

The bomb disposal squad arrived on the scene shortly after the evacuation, raising speculation that a controlled explosion would take place.

Police used sniffer dogs to sweep the stadium and afterwards experts from the army blew up the package at Old Trafford which had triggered an alarm and caused the consequent evacuation of the stadium.

A policeman using a sniffer dog to sweep the stadium on May 15, 2016. [Reuters]

There were some unconfirmed reports that it was not a "suspicious package" but a mobile phone tapped to a gas pipe that raised the alarm.

Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, called an emergency meeting with the club secretary, John Alexander, and the Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, to discuss the issue of when the game can be rearranged. The club described the incident as an “operation code red”.

It is the second time in less than a week that Manchester United have been involved in a security alert.

Their game at West Ham United on Monday was delayed after their team bus was attacked by fans.

TRTWorld and agencies