by James, Michael Igiri
Twenty-two people have been killed and at least 59 people injured in a
terrorist bombing during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
Children are known to be among the dead.
Newspaper reports in the UK report it is the worst terror attack in the UK
since 56 people were killed in the 7 July London bombings in 2005.
Eye-witnesses said the explosion was heard outside the auditorium after
the artist had finished her show and left the stage.
Casualties were taken to five hospitals throughout the city and victims
described being thrown by the blast that scattered nuts and bolts across
The Prime Minister has condemned the “appalling” attack and General
Election campaigning has been suspended.
Ariana Grande said on Twitter she was “broken” by the devastating attack.
Announcing that the death toll had risen overnight, Greater Manchester
Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said: “What I can confirm is that there
are children among the deceased.”
He said: “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.”
Mr Hopkins said investigators believed the attack was conducted by one
man who died at the scene, although detectives are working to establish if
he “was acting alone or as part of a network”.
Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester metro mayor, said the attack was
an “evil act”.
Speaking on Tuesday morning the former Labour MP said: “It is hard to
believe what has happened here in the last few hours, and to put into
words the shock, anger, and hurt that we feel today.
“These were children, young people and their families that those
responsible chose to terrorise and kill.
“This was an evil act.”
He added: “We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be
business as usual, as far as possible in our great city.”
Concert goer, Josh Elliot, told the BBC there was pandemonium and
confusion as people tried to flee the scene, some reportedly covered in
blood and many in tears.
He said: “She finished her last song .. and we heard like a really basey
bang, and all I can remember is just everyone … was just running out…
people were covered in blood, some people were having a fight, it was
One fan leaving the concert described how the bangs ripped through the
arena, which has a capacity of 21,000. It is not known how many people
were attending the concert, but the majority of the American pop star’s fans
are young females in their teens and twenties.
“The lights came on after the gig and people were starting to leave. As I
turned to the left there was an explosion. It was about 40ft behind us near
one of the exits. We just thought it was people messing about then it
happened again. Another explosion sounded.
“Then 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.
“People have said it was a speaker or balloons but it wasn’t. It was
Majid Khan, 22, said: “I and my sister, along with a lot of others were
seeing Ariana Grande perform at Manchester Arena, and we were all
exiting the venue when around 10.40-10,45pm- ish, a huge bomb-like bang
went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the
“It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena
where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they
were trying to exit Trinity Way and that was blocked so everyone was just
running to any exit they could find as quickly as they could.
“Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had
gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off, so it was just extremely disturbing
for everyone there.”
He said there were “a good 20 to 30 people lying injured” close to the box
office just outside the main arena.
“Whoever’s done it has done it on a kids’ concert,” he said.
Another eyewitness said he was thrown “30 feet in the air” by the force of
the explosion which was reported to have shaken the entire building.
Another witness, Karen who was at the concert with her husband and
children described the pandemonium as thousands tried to escape the
venue after the explosion sound was heard.
“It was just chaos… nobody was organising anybody to do anything.”
She added that she saw a woman in a wheelchair being pushed over as
people desperately tried to get out after someone shouted there had been
Liverpool City Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said on Twitter that his two
daughters had been at the concert but had made it home safely. He
thanked the taxi driver who had assisted them, and offered his sympathies
to other parents waiting anxiously for news of their children.
Investigations are still on- going while the world reels in shock to the
devastating events of the night. World leaders have since been sending