Anfield cleared after 'missing man' mystery

Anfield cleared after 'missing man' mystery

Update at 10.30pm:

Liverpool’s Capital One Cup fourth-round fixture with Bournemouth will go ahead as planned on Wednesday after Anfield was cleared to reopen following an evacuation.

The club reported a man had gone missing from a tour group that was visiting Anfield, which led to a police operation at the stadium from mid-afternoon until late evening.

But after a search, both Merseyside Police and the football club said they were confident the stadium was secure.

Anfield cleared after 'missing man' mystery

“Anfield Stadium is now fully reopened, following a precautionary evacuation earlier this afternoon,” said a club spokesman.

Liverpool's statement added: "During the incident the club's priority at all times was the safety and well-being of everyone involved. We can confirm the emergency services were called and we would like to thank them for their thorough response.

“Also, we acknowledge the patience of those impacted by the temporary closure, which allowed this matter to be dealt with in an appropriate and responsible manner.”

Police said the man Liverpool believed was missing was not found inside the stadium, and said in a statement: “Merseyside Police can confirm a search of Anfield stadium has been completed following security concerns raised earlier.

“Officers and the club are satisfied that there are no people unaccounted for inside the ground and that the stadium is secure.”

Anfield was evacuated after Liverpool called police to investigate the suspected disappearance of a man who had been unaccounted for since approximately 1.30pm.

Photos were posted on social media and in local news reports which appeared to show both club staff and tourists standing outside of the famous ground, the gates of which were being manned by police.

An eyewitness who did not want to be named told Press Association Sport that alarms had sounded at around 3.30pm. Five police vehicles could be seen parked at the stadium, where the nearby streets were quiet, and a sniffer dog was also present.

It had previously been reported that two men, not one, were missing inside the stadium, but as the search was under way Merseyside Police released a statement which explained they were seeking only a single individual.

There remains no official comment on the status of Wednesday evening’s fixture, scheduled to kick off at Anfield at 7.45pm, but it is understood the club do not consider it to have in any way been affected and that it will therefore go ahead as previously planned.

Details from earlier:

Merseyside Police has announced that officers are presently searching for a man inside Liverpool’s Anfield football stadium after he went missing this afternoon.

The individual concerned – reports had previously suggested two men were involved – had been on a stadium tour before the football club called police at 3.05pm to report the incident in the belief that the man remains inside the stadium, which has since been evacuated.

“Merseyside Police can confirm that a search of Anfield football stadium is currently underway after the club raised an alert earlier this afternoon,” read a statement from Merseyside Police.

“At 3.05pm, the club reported to Merseyside Police that the ground had been evacuated after a man who had been on a tour was unaccounted for and believed to be in the stadium.

“The club cannot guarantee that the man has left the ground and therefore a search of the ground is underway.”

The man in question was reported to have gone missing at approximately 1.30pm.

“There is an incident at Anfield stadium, and as a precautionary measure the facility has been evacuated,” added a club spokesman.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at the ground. The emergency services are aware of the situation.”

Photos were posted on social media and in local news blogs which appeared to show both club staff and tourists standing outside the famous ground, with police officers manning its gates.

An eyewitness said: “The alarms went off about 3.30pm. There was a number of police cars, police vans, a few ambulances.”

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