Match off at Old Trafford as controlled explosion of suspicious package is performed

A fire engine outside the ground after the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester is abandoned.  Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
A fire engine outside the ground after the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester is abandoned. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
0
Have your say

Bomb disposal experts have 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 after the security alert in the stadium’s North West Quadrant.

Greater Manchester Police announced in a statement on Twitter: “A controlled explosion has just 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 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 told Press Association Sport 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.

It is understood that both sets of players were kept in the dressing rooms for around 40 minutes before being taken to a suite, being looked after by security and hospitality staff.