Manchester United bomb scare caused by 'training device' - police

The suspect package which led to Manchester United's Premier League game against Bournemouth being abandoned was a dummy device left over from a training exercise.

Greater Manchester Police made the announcement after a controlled explosion was carried out on the item at Old Trafford.

Police and security staff were forced to evacuate the stadium shortly before the scheduled 3 p.m. kick off on Sunday and the game was called off soon afterwards.

GMP said in a statement: "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.

"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."

Of the revelation, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said the club will "investigate the incident to inform future actions and decisions" after the controlled explosion at the stadium.

Greater Manchester mayor Tony Lloyd described the episode as a "fiasco" and called for an inquiry into the incident.

"It is outrageous this situation arose and a full inquiry is required to urgently find out how this happened, why it happened and who will be held accountable," Lloyd said.

Meanwhile, Sunday's game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 17 at 8 p.m.

"We can confirm that today's abandoned fixture between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth will be played on Tuesday 17 May at 8 p.m.," the Premier League said in a statement.

"We would like to thank Manchester United's staff, the police and other emergency services for all their efforts today as well as rearranging the match for this coming Tuesday.

"Both Manchester ‎United and AFC Bournemouth's management has been extremely helpful in reaching a swift resolution, which is the best possible given today's events.

"The clubs will make their own announcements regarding ticketing arrangements."

Sources told Press Association that United will refund all ticket holders for Sunday's game and offer them free entry to the rearranged fixture.

Press Association contributed to this report.