At least 22 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday night. Some 59 people were taken to hospital with injuries and many more were treated at the scene. Dozens of concert-goers are missing, with their family and friends making desperate appeals on social media. Here are some key details:
Police received reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena just before 10:35 p.m. local time. The arena — located in the northern English city of Manchester — has a capacity of 21,000 and attracts more than one million people each year, according to the venue’s website.
Officials at the Manchester Arena said in a statement that the incident “took place outside the venue in a public space,” said to be a foyer near the box office.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene as concert-goers fled the arena when they heard a “loud bang” shortly after the concert ended, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“We saw the smoke. Everyone just fled. Some people were injured. We saw blood on people when we got outside. People were just running all over the place,” David Richardson, who was at the concert with his 13-year-old daughter Emily, told the Evening News.
How many victims are there?
Twenty-two people were killed and at least 59 others were injured in the incident, Greater Manchester Police have said. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins confirmed at a press briefing at 7 a.m. local time (2 a.m. EDT) Tuesday that children were among those killed.
He said the attack was carried out by one man carrying an improvised explosive device (IED), who also died on the scene. He urged the press and public “not to speculate” on the identity of the attacker.
The local North West Ambulance Service said on Twitter that it had “taken 59 casualties from the Manchester Arena incident to various hospitals” and “treated a number of walking wounded on scene.” Some 60 ambulances were dispatched after the attack.
One of the victims has been named as 18-year-old h ealth and social care student Georgina Callander. Her school released a statement saying: ” It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College.”
Is everyone accounted for?
No. Dozens of concert-goers, including young children, are still missing. Desperate friends have relatives have taken to social media to spread the word using the hashtag #MissinginManchester.
Who was responsible?
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. A statement made via ISIS channels on the messaging app Telegram said that “one of the soldiers of the caliphate placed explosive devices in a gathering of crusaders in the middle of the British city of Manchester,” hinting that the terrorist incident was not a suicide attack, as it is believed to have been.
British Prime Minister Theresa May revealed during a Downing Street speech this morning that the police think they know the identity of the perpetrator, but authorities are not at this point revealing his or her name. May also said the police believe that attack was carried out by one person. “They now need to know whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider group,” she said.
A 23-year-old man in South Manchester has been arrested in connection with the attack, Greater Manchester Police confirmed in a tweet:
With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
What has Ariana Grande’s reaction been?
The 23-year-old pop star was not injured in the attack, which took place shortly after she finished performing. Shortly after the bomb went off, she tweeted: “Broken. 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
Her manager Scooter Braun tweeted a statement, reading in part: “We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act.”
Grande is currently on the Dangerous Woman international tour. Her next performance is scheduled for London on Thursday, but her spokesperson said it was “highly unlikely” she would perform.
How does this affect the U.K. general election?
Britain is scheduled to vote in a general election on June 8. The BBC says that the major British political parties — the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party — have all suspended campaigning.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the blast “an appalling terrorist attack.” She will chair an emergency COBRA crisis-response meeting at around 9 a.m. local time (4 a.m. EDT) Tuesday, reports the BBC. Leading political figures from the U.K. and beyond have expressed their shock, grief and solidarity on Twitter overnight.
What have world leaders said?
Leaders around the globe have began tweeting and sharing their responses. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has repeatedly been targeted by terrorists since 2015, sent a message of solidarity. “I send my thoughts to the British people, the victims and their loved ones,” he wrote, in French. “We are leading the fight against terrorism together.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also released a statement on the attack, telling Britons: “Germany stands by your side.”
Speaking in Bethlehem, U.S. President Donald Trump said: “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life.” He added that society “can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed.”
How have the U.K. authorities reacted to the attack?
Extra police offers were deployed in the capital as Londoners started their journeys to work, according to a statement by Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service. “This will continue for as long as it is needed, and the mix of armed and unarmed officers are there to reassure,” she added.
The statement continued: “Looking ahead to the weekend – a normal busy and vibrant weekend in our city – we are working with all those planning events to make sure we are doing all we can. Terrorists seek to spread fear and undermine our way of life. We must work together to stop that from happening. If you have suspicions, tell us; if you see something that concerns you, report it. Together we can protect London.”