The bomb scare inside Old Trafford today before Manchester United’s game against Bournemouth was caused by a fake bomb left behind during a training exercise this week.
Daily Mail revealed the story and it was then swiftly followed by a statement from the Greater Manchester Police which confirmed it.
An external company placed fake devices inside Old Trafford on Wednesday as part of a training exercise but it was accidentally left behind. That device was then found by a steward ahead of kick-off against Bournemouth which led to the evacuation of Old Trafford and the abandonment of the game.
GMP assistant chief constable John O’Hare released the following statement on the situation: “I am grateful to the Manchester United and Bournemouth supporters for their support and assistance today.
“Following today’s controlled explosion, we have since found out that the item was a training device which had accidentally been left by a private company following a training exercise involving explosive search dogs.
“While this item did not turn out to be a viable explosive, on appearance this device was as real as could be, and the decision to evacuate the stadium was the right thing to do, until we could be sure that people were not at risk.”
I’m really not sure where to start with this shambles of a situation.
First and foremost, why was the device left behind during the training exercise? Surely the whole point of this exercise would have been to find and deal with these fake devices. Did the stewards involved just get bored or was there a miscount of how many devices? Either way, there has been a huge human error here.
Secondly, how was this device not found between Wednesday and Sunday? The toilets should have been checked on multiple occasions in those four days yet it was not found. While the initial error lay with the external company, United’s stewards could have avoided this with more stringent measures.
Finally, did nobody remember that a training exercise had taken place? Surely there could have been a chain of communication which would have verified this was nothing more than a training device instead of evacuating Old Trafford and abandoning the game.
This season has been a comic strip right from the broken fax machine back in August which meant we kept David de Gea. Now, it looks to be ending as a farce as well.