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'Training Device' Leads to Controlled Explosion at Manchester United's Stadium

Sunday's match postponed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2016 1:32 PM CDT
Updated May 15, 2016 5:21 PM CDT
Bomb Threat Leads to Controlled Explosion at Manchester United's Stadium
Spectators stand outside of Old Trafford stadium after today's final soccer match of the season between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth was abandoned due to a suspect package being found inside the stadium. Sunday May 15, 2016.   (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

(Newser) – A bomb disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium on Sunday after a suspect package was discovered before the Premier League game between United and Bournemouth, the AP reports. The dismantling of what police described as an "incredibly lifelike explosive device" came amid increased security at Premier League stadiums following last year's Paris attacks that targeted the Stade de France sports stadium as well as cafes, bars, and a popular concert hall. However, an assistant chief constable with Greater Manchester Police ultimately announced that the suspect package was "a training device which had accidentally been left by a private company following a training exercise involving explosive search dogs."

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Military personnel were dispatched to the stadium after the game was postponed following an evacuation of spectators from two stands about 30 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time of 3pm local time. Players from both teams were taken off the pitch during the warm-up and kept in the changing rooms. They were then let out while spectators were also being evacuated. There was a strong police presence outside Old Trafford and fire engines attended the scene. Sniffer dogs were also seen inside the stadium. It is the first Premier League match to be postponed because of a bomb threat; it was rescheduled to Tuesday night. (Read more Manchester United stories.)

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