Security expert Roy Ramm has blasted those responsible for leaving a fake explosive device at Old Trafford, insisting "people need to be sacked."
The stadium - one of the biggest and most famous in the world - was evacuated under a 'code red' alarm roughly 20 minutes ahead of Manchester United's home match against AFC Bournemouth yesterday (Sunday) after staff found a "suspect package" in the North West Quadrant. Police were quickly called in, and the match was postponed on their advice.
Following a controlled explosion, the police revealed the "incredibly lifelike explosive device" was a prop left from a security training exercise earlier in the week. While the match has been rescheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday), the fiasco has sparked fury from the fans. The Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has demanded a full inquiry.
Ramm, the former Head of Specialist Operations at New Scotland Yard, praised the club for implementing security training, but labeled the blunder by the private firm "massive."
"It's a very straight-forward issue and people need to be sacked," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "If you put out some kind of fake bomb as part of a training exercise - which I think is a prudent thing to do - how you place and locate should be logged and tracked.
"If there was a hole on the shelf and you're wondering 'where is this device'?, it's back to the stadium to find it."
The firms responsible have now been named as Deacons Canines and Security Search Management and Solutions Ltd, the latter of which is waiting to hear back from the football club before releasing a comment to the press. Ramm insisted the mistake could have had potentially dangerous ramifications.
"There are so many facets to this which beggar belief," he added. "The amount of confusion and concern... what could have happened in the stadium if people had panicked?
"It could have been awful."