MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM—An explosion transpired at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, United Kingdom on Monday, May 22, leaving 22 people confirmed dead and more than 59 people injured just before 10:35 p.m. A majority of those injured included women and children.
It has been reported that the bomb used in the attack may have contained nails, and the explosion occurred outside of the arena, as patrons were leaving. The suspect, noted as a male at the scene has been identified as Salman Abedi, 22, a British-born national of Libyan descent for carrying out the deadly attack. ISIS has publicly come out taking responsibility for the attack.
According to reports, witnesses indicated hearing “loud bangs near the [Manchester] arena bars.” Video was posted via social media which showed nearly 20,000 people inside the venue scrambling to find safety after hearing the bangs.
“This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise,” the Greater Manchester Police Department indicated in a statement.
CNN reported that authorities suspect a possible suicide bomber for being responsible for the attack.
“We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night. The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. Please follow @gmpolice on Twitter for all further updates,” the Manchester Arena tweeted at 8:08 pm on May 22.
The Greater Manchester Police Department indicated in a statement:
“Emergency services are currently responding to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured. Please AVOID the area as first responders work tirelessly at the scene. Details for a casualty bureau will follow as soon as possible.”
President Donald Trump responded to the attack by calling the culprits “evil losers.” “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom,” President Trump tweeted on May 23.
Grande is currently on her ‘Dangerous Woman Tour” which is in the process of making stops in Europe during the summer. The singer recently held a concert in Dublin on Sunday, May 21. According to reports, the singer was not injured during the incident.
Celebrities took to social media after hearing about the incident.
Paula Robinson, a witness who was at the concert informed Anderson Cooper on Anderson Cooper 360 that she “could feel the explosion. It was very loud.”
Katy Perry tweeted “Praying for everyone at @Ariana Grande’s show.”
Cher tweeted, “MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO PPL OF MANCHESTER…HAD SPECIAL TIMES THERE FROM YOUTH & BEYOND.”
“No words can describe how I feel about what happened in Manchester. I don’t wanna believe that the world we live in could be so cruel.”
A second package was found by authorities, which were later to be revealed to be abandoned clothing. Authorities detonated the package for safety concerns. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police Department indicated during a press conference that “we’re working with local and national agencies.”
“It is important people in the area avoid the area around the Manchester Arena,” added Chief Constable Hopkins.
Later Monday night, it was revealed that Ariana Grande has suspended her world tour indefinitely in the wake of the terrorist bombing in Manchester. “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry, I don’t have words,” Grande tweeted.
Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun, released a statement via Twitter that read: “Tonight, our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack. We mourn the lives of the 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. We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers.”
On Tuesday, May 23, it was revealed that the Greater Manchester Police Department have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection to the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena.