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Suspicious item discovered at Old Trafford was 'training device left behind'

Police say a suspicious item found at Old Trafford football stadium, which required a controlled explosion to be carried out, has now been identified as a training device.

A full search of the stadium was carried out following the controlled explosion. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The stadium was evacuated shortly before the match was due to begin at 3pm after the suspect package was found in the toilets in the north west quadrant, between the Sir Alex Ferguson stand and the Stretford End.

A controlled explosion was carried out by a bomb squad on the "incredibly realistic-looking explosive device".

The stadium was only partly evacuated, initially, before the club and the police mutually decided to cancel the game and completely evacuate the building.

Police say it has since been discovered that the object was a training device which had been left behind by a private company after a training exercise involving explosive search dogs.

Whilst 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.

Everyone remained calm, followed instructions, and worked with officers and stewards to ensure that a safe evacuation was quickly completed. Those present today were a credit to the football family and their actions should be recognised. I would also like to thank all those involved in the operation today for such a professional response, which includes police officers, stewards, MUFC staff, media representatives and commentators and the Bomb Disposal Team.

– Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare, GMP

Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward from Manchester United Football Club said: "The safety of fans is always our highest priority.

"I'd like to thank the support from the police which was first class and the impeccable response from fans of both teams."

The club says it is investigating the incident "to inform future actions and decisions."

Old Trafford latest: "Lifelike explosive" deemed not viable

The stadium was evacuated moments before the match was due to start. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Greater Manchester Police says a controlled device was earlier carried out on an "incredibly lifelike explosive" that was discovered in the stadium at Old Trafford.

Officers say a full assessment of the suspicious object found that the device was not viable.

A full search of the stadium is now under way.

Officers with sniffer dogs are searching the stands after a controlled explosion was carried out. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images


Police investigating suspicious item at Old Trafford

Fans were evacuated after a 'code red' announcement before the match was officially called off. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Greater Manchester Police says it is working with staff at Manchester United to investigate a suspicious object that was found in the stands at Old Trafford.

The club's final match of the season was called off this afternoon after the item was discovered in the stadium.

We are doing everything we can to investigate this item as quickly as possible, however our priority is obviously to ensure the safety of everyone in the stadium and surrounding area. As a result, today’s game has been abandoned and a controlled evacuation of the stadium has now taken place.

We are awaiting the imminent arrival of military colleagues to come and support us and establish what exactly we are dealing with.

We don’t make these decisions lightly and we have done this today to ensure the safety of all those attending. I am thankful for everyone’s support and assistance and we will continue to provide updates on this matter as soon as they become available.

– Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare, GMP

Manchester United v Bournemouth abandoned amid security fears

Fans were evacuated from the stadium after a 'code red' announcement. Credit: ITV News Granada Reports

Manchester United's final game of the season against Bournemouth has been abandoned after a suspect package was found in the stands at Old Trafford.

Fans were evacuated from the north and west stands before the match was officially called off.


Beyonce confirms Manchester date on her world tour

Beyonce will perform at Emirates Old Trafford in July Credit: PA

Beyonce is going on a world tour and is stopping off in Manchester.

The American star, who performed at the Super Bowl, will kick off the European leg of the tour in Sunderland's Stadium of Light on June 28 and will come to Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford on July 5.

The 34-year-old surprised fans by releasing new single Formation on Saturday on Tidal, the streaming service she co-owns with husband Jay Z, among others.

Normally, a subscription to the service is required but the track was made available to download for free.

Beyonce appeared at the Super Bowl with a team of dancers to perform Formation for the first time, and narrowly avoided falling during her lively dance routine.

She visibly lost her balance but composed herself in time to continue with the performance without missing a beat.

An advert for the tour appeared on American TV seconds after her performance with Coldplay and Bruno Mars finished.

The tour is expected to support Beyonce's upcoming sixth studio album, the follow-up to her 2013 self-titled surprise release.

The music superstar, who is known for hits such as Crazy In Love and Halo, will take to the stage for the tour's debut show on April 27 in Miami.

Tickets go on sale next week.

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