19 Confirmed Dead, Manchester Police Say Ariana Grande Concert Explosion Likely Suicide Bomber With Nail Bomb
UPDATE 3:30 a.m., 5/23/2017: Ariana Grande has posted comments on Twitter about the bombing at her show tonight in Manchester, England.
“Broken.From the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
UPDATE 9 p.m.: The injured count has now been increased to 60 people.
At an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, an explosion has killed 19 people, and 50 more have been seriously wounded. At this time, Manchester police are investigating the explosion, and say that until they get information that refutes it, that they are calling it a terrorist incident. Attendees of the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena say that the concert was coming to an end at about 10:30 p.m. when they heard a loud boom. Police confirm that they believe the main explosion happened in the foyer or entrance of the arena, and not in the main hall.
England has had its share of attacks and in the last six months when a man accelerated into a crowd of people outside of parliament in London, tourists were trapped on the London Eye in Westminster watching the events unfold below. Police said that until things were safe below, people needed to stay put where they were, and that is what Manchester police are saying now, and they are also urging people not to come down to the Manchester Arena until further notice.
What Manchester Police Know Now
At this time, Manchester police are giving general details about what they know about the explosion that rocked Manchester Arena. Ariana Grande was performing in the hall which is small by American standards. Manchester Arena holds 20,000 people, and the Ariana Grande show, which attracts a large number of children and young fans, nearly filled up the venue.
Right now, they are saying that the explosion took place in a common area of the Manchester Arena and that so far, 19 people are dead and 50 more are seriously injured. Ariana Grande’s record label, Universal Media Group/Republic Records released a statement about the explosion on Facebook.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight’s devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.”
A concert-goer told CNN that she saw bodies as she fled the venue.
“There was a massive, massive explosion. There was a bang, there was smoke coming out all through the steps and everyone was just screaming and yelling things and there were people shouting for their kids. There was at least 20 or 30 people on the floor, some that you could see straight off were just, just dead. You could just see that they were passed away.”
Police are expressing concern that a suicide bomber might have detonated the bomb in the foyer as people started leaving.
Manchester Police And Manchester Arena Press Statements
While the Manchester police say they are treating the explosion as a “terrorist incident,” the Manchester Arena has also released a public statement.
“We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande concert show last night. The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.”
Police are working on a theory now that the explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber wearing a backpack that included a nail bomb. The injuries being documented at the hospital are consistent with a nail bomb.
Those within the Manchester Arena at the Ariana Grande concert are saying that they heard a loud bang. One Ariana Grande fan says that there was instant panic.
“Suddenly everybody started screaming and running for the exit… We could hear the police and ambulance sirens. It was terrifying. There were thousands of people trying to get out at once. They were all screaming and crying. The whole place smelt smoky and burnt.”
Concertgoer Catherine McFarlane said that there was only the sound of screaming as people tried to exit the Ariana Grande concert. She said that chaos ensued as people are seeking their children and children were trying to locate their parents.
“We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming. It was a huge explosion — you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out.”
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After most people were able to successfully exit the venue, the nearby Holiday Inn confirmed that there were at least 60 children there searching for their parents. The hotel tweeted the information in hopes of reuniting families after the explosion.
What do you think happened at the Ariana Grande concert? Who do you think is responsible?
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]