Manchester’s police commissioner demanded an inquiry into the “fiasco” of a fake bomb left behind from a training exercise at a stadium that forced the abandonment on Sunday of a major sports event.
“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 explosives-search dogs,” John O’Hare, assistant chief constable from Greater Manchester Police.
Police said the realistic-looking device, which was destroyed in a controlled explosion, had been accidentally left in a bathroom by a private firm that was conducting a training exercise.
The device led to the evacuation of the stadium about 20 minutes before the scheduled beginning of the game.
“This fiasco caused massive inconvenience to supporters who had come from far and wide to watch the match, wasted the time of huge numbers of police officers and the army’s bomb squad, and unnecessarily put people in danger,” Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd said in a statement.
“Whilst this in no way demeans the professionalism of the police and stewards responsible for getting the fans out, or the supporters’ calmness and cooperation during the evacuation, it is unacceptable that it happened in the first place,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd, who oversees Manchester police but has no operational role, is also the city’s interim mayor.