LONDON — An arrow was fired into The Oval cricket stadium on Thursday, landing on the field of play and forcing an English league game to be abandoned.
More than a thousand spectators were told to take cover before the venue was evacuated by police, who so far are not treating the incident as terrorism related.
No injuries were reported and no arrests had been made by Thursday evening by officers who believe the object was launched from outside the stadium in a residential area of south London.
“It was a pretty tasty arrow with a proper metal end,” said Surrey captain Gareth Batty, who was fielding about 25 yards (meters) from where it landed. “Someone saw it in flight, there was a noise when it landed but it happened so quick. It is a deadly weapon for sure. If it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage.”
The object, described by police as an “arrow or crossbow bolt,” landed on the square, near the Surrey and Middlesex players, at 4.20 p.m. local time (1520 GMT).
“It is pure speculation where it came from because it is a very dense area around the ground,” Surrey chief executive Richard Gould said. “We are investigating reports that there was a noise on the roof of the OCS Stand but we haven’t been able to get up there to see whether it was the projectile ricocheting off the roof or a separate projectile.
“We may never find out if it was a deliberate act, but in these heightened times these sorts of acts are wholly irresponsible.”