Deadly Explosions At Ariana Grande Concert In Manchester!
Police say the blast is being treated as terrorism.
U.K. police say 19 people were killed and about 50 were injured in an explosion at a concert in Manchester, England.
The blast took place after a concert by singer Ariana Grande.
The explosion is being treated as a terrorist incident.
An explosion police were investigating as terrorism killed at least 19 people and wounded about 50 Monday following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, England.
Two unnamed U.S. officials told Reuters a suicide bomber was suspected. Neither U.S. nor British authorities have confirmed those reports.
“This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise,” police said in a statement.
Ian Hopkins, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said local authorities were working with national investigators and intelligence officials.
“This is clearly a very concerning time for everyone,” Hopkins said at a news conference.
Greater Manchester Police responded to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena around 10:35 p.m. local time, sending concert-goers ― many of them teenagers ― fleeing in panic. As emergency personnel descended on the scene, police asked people to stay away from the area.
Fans were gathered at the venue for Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” tour. The singer’s publicist told The New York Times that Grande was “O.K.” and her team was “investigating what happened.”
Manchester Arena said in a statement that the explosion took place outside the venue.
Several media outlets reported witnesses saw 20 to 30 people lying on the ground, and one witness told CNN many of them appeared to be in grave condition. “You could see straight off were just dead. You could just see that they were passed away,” Kiera Dawber told CNN. The identities of those killed and injured have not been released.
Video recorded at the scene showed people scrambling down aisles to evacuate the venue as screams echoed throughout the arena. Concertgoers reported panic and disarray, with some saying that had seen people with injuries and some covered in blood.
“There were just a loud bang and a flash and everyone tried to scramble out,” Jade Baynes, 18, told The Guardian. “An alarm came on telling everyone to stay calm but leave as quickly as possible.”
Panicking at Victoria Station after @ArianaGrande concert. Hope everyone is all safe and well. pic.twitter.com/6Q5WNXFkFO— Zach Bruce (@Zach_bruce) May 22, 2017
Others said the scene as “chaotic” and described what they believed to be a “huge explosion.”
“You could feel it in your chest,” Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. “It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her condolences for victims and their families. “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” May said in a statement.
The blast comes less than a month before Brits are headed to the polls. The prime minister called early elections last month, hoping to strengthen her coalition ahead of talks to exit the European Union.
Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and has a capacity for 21,000 people, according to its website. It is a popular concert and sporting venue.
Police later carried out a controlled explosion for a suspicious item near the arena, but it turned out to be abandoned clothing. Facebook has activated its safety check.
Grande got her start on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and later starred on its spinoff “Sam & Cat.” Her debut album, “Yours Truly,” was released in 2013 and featured early hits “Baby I” and “Right There.” Grande has since released two more records and cemented herself as one of the reigning pop divas of her time.
The 23-year-old is a four-time Kids’ Choice Award-winner. Because of her roots on Nickelodeon, her fan base skewed on the younger side.
Many of those at Monday’s concert were teens and families, witnesses said.
Monday’s blast comes a little more than two months after a deadly terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London. In that attack, British citizen Khalid Masood, 52, ran down pedestrians with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer to death before being killed by authorities. Five people, including the officer and Masood, were killed, and more than 40 were injured.
Monday also marks the fourth anniversary of the murder of British Army soldier Lee Rigby. On May 22, 2013, 25-year-old Rigby was walking outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in south London when Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale struck him with a vehicle before stabbing him to death with a knife and a meat cleaver.
Britain is on its second-highest alert level of “severe” meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident while traveling in Israel, a senior White House official said.
Prayers go out to all affected by this tragedy! This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly!