19 dead after bomb explosion at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester
- Author: Essie Rivera May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 11:21
A fleet of ambulances was seen rushing to the venue and bomb disposal teams were dispatched soon after.
If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005.
Announcing that the death toll had risen, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said: "What I can confirm is that there are children among the deceased".
The Prime Minister condemned the incident and the Home Secretary described the attack as "barbaric".
Grande's manager, Scooter Braun, also released a statement on Twitter: "Words can not express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack. There was a massive bang from towards the back of the arena from the corridor area", she said.
People running down stairs as they attempt to exit the Manchester Arena after a blast, where USA singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, Britain in this still image taken from video May 22, 2017.
"Everybody was panicking", Isabel Hodgins, an actress who had been attending the concert told Sky News.
Police said Tuesday morning they are still gathering information about the incident and are setting up a telephone hot line to help people locate loved ones.
"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena", concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain's Press Association.
Calvin Welsford (18) from Bristol told the BBC: "It nearly sounded like a gunshot".
"I was actually having an asthma attack".
Outside, she said, "you could smell the burning". The unit also triggered a controlled explosion of a suspicion package that turned out to be abandoned clothes.
The incident comes in the thick of a United Kingdom general election campaign, which is expected to be put on hold on Tuesday out of respect for the victims in Manchester. "It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out".
Cheryl McDonald, who went with her nine-year-old daughter, told Sky: "I've never been so scared in my life".
"Even though I'm thousands of miles away, it's in my town with people I know that could potentially be hurt".
Police said they responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:35 PM (2:35 AM PST, Tuesday) at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people, and where the American singer had been performing to an audience that included many children.
Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones on Tuesday after a blast killed at least 22 people and injured 59 at a British concert by USA singer Ariana Grande, with images of happy-looking teenagers posted next to pleas for help. The incident took place outside the venue in a public space.
National Rail said: "As Manchester Victoria is located near the arena, the station has been evacuated and all lines closed".