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22 dead in suspected terror attack at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

manchester bombing10Ariana Grande concert attendees Karen Moore and her daughter Molly Steed, aged 14, from Derby, leave the Park Inn where they were given refuge after last nights explosion at Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. Getty

  • 22 dead, including some children, in an explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
  • Manchester police say it was one individual who used improvised explosive device to carry out the attack but are establishing whether “he was acting alone or as part of a network.”
  • The attacker is not yet identified but he died in the explosion.  Police treating event as suspected terrorist incident.
  • General election campaign suspended. Prime Minister Theresa May condemend the “callous terrorist attack.”
  • Ariana Grande has suspended her world tour.
  • Police provided emergency numbers for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who may not have returned home: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.

At least 22 people died, some of those children, and 59 others were injured in an explosion at Manchester Arena on Monday evening in what police are treating as a terrorist attack.

The explosion occurred around 10:30 p.m. local time (BST) at an Ariana Grande concert. Chief constable Ian Hopkins from Manchester police says the attacker was one lone man and he was “carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated causing this atrocity.”

The police confirmed the attacker died in the explosion and are establishing whether “he was acting alone or as part of a network.”

Hopkins said investigations are continuing to establish if he was part of a network and there is a detailed forensic search of the area. “We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names,” Hopkins said. “There is a complex and wide-ranging investigation under way.”

The chief constable also appealed to the public to upload any pictures of videos to this service, so it would help the police with its investigation.

Hopkins did not name the victims but The Evening Standard named Georgina Callander, 18, as one of the 22 people killed. Friends today said she was one of the first people rushed to hospital after the attack.

Just after 11 a.m. local time, Prime Minister Theresa May has condemend what she called a “callous terrorist attack” at the Manchester Arena following a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee. She said the police think they have identified the attacker but are not at this point will not reveal the name.

Prior to this, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told journalists just before 11 a.m. local time that an “extremist” was responsible for the attack but did not elaborate further:

Meanwhile, the general election campaign has been suspended “until further notice.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was one of the first to comment on events, saying his “thoughts are with all those affected.” Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: “Deepest condolences to the victims and families in Manchester.”

US President Donald Trump said in a statement from Bethlehem, Israel: “I would like to begin by offering my prayers to the people of Manchester” and called the attacker an “evil loser.” He also said that “wicked ideology” has to be “completely obliterated.

And here is the full statement from Chief Constable Hopkins that provides all the details for people to get in touch (emphasis ours):

“This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.

“Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones. We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.

“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in the operation during the night.

“To remind you, we were called at 10.33pm to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. More than 250 calls came in and emergency services were very quickly on scene. Emergency numbers have been established for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who may not have returned home: 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.

“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe that while the attack last night was conducted by one man, the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.

We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names. There is a complex and wide-ranging investigation under way.

“Our priority is to work with the national counter-terrorist policing network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack.”

Meanwhile, a number of false stories went viral and were reported by some of Britain’s biggest newspapers in the moments following last night’s attack on the Manchester Arena.

manchester explosionPolice and fans close to the Manchester Arena. Dave Thompson/Getty Images

The American singer Ariana grande is safe, according to her spokesperson.

“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” she tweeted later.

Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, followed up with a statement, saying in part:

“We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester’s first responders who rushed towards danger to help save lives.”

She has since suspended her world tour.

Police detonated a second device in a controlled explosion shortly after the initial event. It was “abandoned clothing” and not a suspicious item.

Eyewitnesses initially suggested that the bomb could have contained nails and other metal items.

 The initial explosion caused concertgoers to scramble out of the concert building, and videos posted on social media showed police cars and ambulances rushing to the scene. British transport police said the explosion occurred in the “foyer area,” or lobby, of the Manchester Arena, which has a capacity of 21,000.

manchester explosionTwo women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Kim Jackson, a witness at the scene, described the incident to Business Insider.

“We had floor seats and were just heading to exit. There was a massive bang from towards the back of the arena from the corridor area,” she said.

“Everyone went silent and then huge crowds of people came running from the back and everyone was screaming and crying. We just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible so we just headed straight for the exit. When we got up to the corridor there was smoke and we could smell burning. We just ran outside and got as far away as we could.”

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, concertgoer Sibion Joyce said: “The concert had ended and she had played her last encore. She went off and the lights came on. Everyone got up to leave. As we did we just heard a loud bang. People were running and people were really scared.”

manchester explosionEmergency services arrive close to the Manchester Arena. Dave Thompson/Getty Images.

manchester explosionArmed police officers stand next to a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Trains were cancelled to and from Manchester Victoria train station, according to National Rail, while the station approach was reportedly closed by police.

Concertgoers were offered accommodation by locals, with people using the #roomformanchester on Twitter to help those in the city stranded without a place to stay. Meanwhile, a hunt for missing people is underway.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham initially said on Twitter: “My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services. A terrible night for our great city.”

After 7:30 a.m. local time, Burnham delivered a speech on the situation. Here are some key quotes from the speech:

“I want to thank the hundreds of police, fire and ambulance staff who worked through the night …

“I want to thank the people of Manchester: even in the minutes after the attack they opened their doors to strangers and drove them away from the attack. It will be that spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together.

“I remember how London felt on that day, I remember it vividly … Manchester will pull together … that’s what we are, that’s what we do. They won’t win. This city has dealt with difficult things in the past and we will do so now.”

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell added:

 London Mayor Sadiq Khan also said on Twitter that “London stands with Manchester – our thoughts are with all those killed and injured tonight and our brave emergency services:”
 Here is his full statement he released shortly after:

View image on Twitter

View image on TwitterAt 7:53 a.m. local time, Westminster Police in London said on Twitter: “Avoid Victoria coach station due to ongoing incident #WeStandTogether” However, after 8 a.m. local time, the suspect package in Westminster, London has been resolved.

About the author

Katie Simpson