UPDATE: 6:15 AM, EST. At least 22 people, including children, have been killed in a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in the deadliest attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings.
Police said they believe a man carrying explosives acted as a lone attacker and died in the powerful blast that shook part of the cavernous Manchester Arena as concertgoers streamed out after the Ariana Grande‘s last song.
“It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack. An attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said after chairing an emergency Cabinet meeting Tuesday. (via CNN)
Officials said they believe the perpetrator acted alone and declined to release his name, but police tweeted on Tuesday morning that they had arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester. May said the bombing, which injured dozens about 10:30 p.m.
“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage. But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future. To take on the ideology that often fuels this violence.”
May’s speech came as the first victim of the attack has been publicly identified: Georgina Callandar, 18 years old, was reported by officials at her former school in the village of Croston to have died of injuries suffered in the explosion.
Obviously shaken, the singer posted this on Twitter,
The concert was held at the Manchester Arena … the explosions occurred at the end of Grande’s concert. One of the concertgoers tweeted, “Just ran from an explosion, genuinely thought were going to die.”
People are writing on Twitter that there is blood everywhere … people are injured and bleeding.
It was an odd scene … while fans were scrambling for safety they were clutching pink balloons that apparently had been dropped on the crowd.
A source connected with Ariana tells us she had just left the stage when everyone heard what appeared to be an explosion.
Greater Manchester Police say there are a “number of confirmed fatalities and others injured.” London police just said, “Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area.”
From The Guardian:
Hannah Dane, who was at the concert, told the Guardian there was “quite a loud explosion heard from inside the Manchester arena and it shook, then everyone screamed and tried to get out”.
She added: “As we got outside, lots of police came racing towards the area and the whole of the Victoria train station was surrounded by police.” She said there were people “screaming and crying everywhere shouting that there’s a bomb and also people were saying there’s a shooter”.
Dane said police were blocking off roads in the area. “There are sirens zooming everywhere.”
Suzy Mitchell, 26, whose flat is opposite the venue, reported a huge bang rocking the neighbourhood.
She told the Press Association: “(I) just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments (we’re on the top floor so have perfect view) and everyone was running away in big crowds. The bang was so big I heard it from my room which is at the back of the apartment blocks.
“Currently lots of emergency services going to and from. But can’t see anything substantial as of yet except fleeing people and lots of cars.”
More on this story as it unfolds
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
— Joe Gregory (@JoeAaronGregory) May 22, 2017
(Photo of Ariana, Pacific Coast News)