A bomb threat forced the evacuation of a
soccer stadium Sunday night during a Spanish league game between Real
Madrid and Real Sociedad.
The referee halted the game with the score 1-1 in the 88th minute and
pointed the teams toward the tunnel. An announcement over the
public-address system appealed for an orderly evacuation, and the fans
appeared to follow instructions.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium was evacuated 15 minutes before a bomb at the
stadium was set to explode, according to a threat phoned to the Basque
newspaper Gara. It took about 10 minutes to clear the stadium.
Two hours later, no bomb had been found, a spokesman for the Ministry of
Interior told The Associated Press.
``Everything now seems to point to a false alarm,'' the spokesman said.
The city's accident and emergency service, SAMUR, said that it had
downgraded its alert, and had not had to treat anybody for injuries.
Outside the stadium, players such as Luis Figo and Jose Maria ``Guti''
Gutierrez were seen making telephone calls while the referee and
linesmen walked away shrouded in blankets.
The Basque separatist group ETA has issued similar warnings to Gara
before a series of small explosions in Spanish cities in recent days.
This stadium was targeted by ETA on May 1, 2002, when Madrid was to play
FC Barcelona in a Champions League semifinal. A car bomb exploded in a
street outside the stadium and 17 people were injured lightly.