Ariana Grande concert bombing: 22 dead after ‘terrorist atrocity’
At least 22 people have died and 59 more are injured after a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night.
The horrific attack took place at the end of Ariana’s show at Manchester Arena, where the singer has been performing on the European leg of her Dangerous Woman Tour. Videos taken at the venue showed fans fleeing in tears.
Police have confirmed that the incident is being treated as a terrorist incident and that the single attacker died at the scene.
Children are among those killed, with 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who attended Tarleton Community Primary School, being one of those named.
Her mother Lisa Roussos and sister Ashlee Bromwich were later found injured in separate hospitals.
Another victim has been named as Georgina Callander, 18-year-old who attended Runshaw College.
Among the missing is Martyn Hett, 29, who was separated from his friend Stuart Aspinall, 25, at the show.
“Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones,” said Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins.
“We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.”
He added: “We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe, at this stage, 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.”
Police said that they were first called at 10.33pm to reports of an explosion, with services rushing to the scene after receiving over 240 calls in total.
Videos from the venue showed fans fleeing the arena in tears, and there have been thousands of posts on social media from those looking for their friends who are still missing.
Those in attendance at the gig were evacuated from the arena and rail operators confirmed that stations nearby had been brought to a standstill by the rush.
“Broken,” said Ariana Grande. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
The singer is very popular with children and teenagers and has a strong following in the LGBT community. She has also been an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights.
She has suspended her World Tour after the attack.
Ariana’s support acts Victoria Monet and BIA also made statements on Twitter after the attack.
“I wish I could say that I am ok, but I am not,” said Victoria Monet.
— Victoria Monét (@VictoriaMonet) May 23, 2017
“Safe? Yes, but heartbroken that loved ones who came to have their night of their lives ended up losing them.”
BIA said: “My heart is broken.”
— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May said shortly after the incident: “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”
Campaigning for the 2017 General Election has been suspended following the attack, and a number of party leaders have expressed their condolences following the incident, including recently-elected Metro Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham.
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
— Mayor Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) May 23, 2017
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Local hotels have been housing children separated from their parents and police have said they are setting up a number for people to call to check on loved ones.
The gig was sold out and Manchester Arena has a concert capacity of 18,000.
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.