Sunday 19 November 2017

Timeline of the Manchester United stadium bomb scare

A bomb disposal van leaves Old Trafford
A bomb disposal van leaves Old Trafford

Manchester United's Premier League match against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday after a bomb scare at Old Trafford.

A suspicious item discovered shortly before the scheduled kick-off led to an evacuation of the stadium and a controlled explosion, but was later revealed to be a dummy device accidentally left behind by a private company after a training exercise.

Here is a look at how the situation developed:

2.40pm: Security personnel are told to invoke 'operation red code' as players are ushered off the field during the warm-up, with fans in the Stretford End and Sir Alex Ferguson Stand evacuated.

3.00pm: At the scheduled kick-off time, supporters in the South and East Stands are told repeatedly to remain in their seats.

3.15pm: Fans are told the match has been called off due to a suspect package found in the North West Quadrant of Old Trafford, with remaining supporters told to leave the stadium.

4.02pm: Greater Manchester Police announce bomb disposal experts are at Old Trafford and conducting an assessment of a suspicious item. Hundreds of stewards and staff wait outside the ground.

4.40pm: A controlled explosion is carried out within the stadium by bomb disposal experts.

5.30pm: Bournemouth's team coach leaves Old Trafford, as does Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. Both sets of players were kept in the dressing room for approximately 40 minutes, before going to a suite and watching the Premier League matches under way on television.

6pm: Perimeter security staff at Old Trafford are informed they can stand down.

6.20pm: Greater Manchester Police post on Twitter: "Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion at Old Trafford on what is described as (an) incredibly lifelike explosive device. Full assessment now concluded and found device wasn't viable."

9.05pm: The Premier League announces the game will be rearranged for Tuesday at 8pm.

10.05pm: Greater Manchester Police announce a private firm accidentally left the "training device" at Old Trafford after carrying out an exercise at the stadium during the week.

Press Association

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