With Children Among Casualties, Death Toll Rises in Manchester
"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena."
As details begin to emerge of the victims, many of whom are known to be children or young adults, the death toll after Monday night's bombing in Manchester has now risen to twenty-two, according to officials. Fifty-nine people were injured in the blast.
Manchester Police have announced that one person is now in custody under suspicion of involvement. Law enforcement officials have also said they now know the identity of the person who acted as a suicide bomber in the attack, but are not yet releasing that individual's name.
On Tuesday morning, Ian Hopkins, the Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police, gave the following briefing to reporters:
As of this writing, various news outlets—including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post—are reporting that the Islamic State (ISIS), using official online channels, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Though details continue to emerge, police officials in the city of Manchester in the United Kingdom have confirmed that at least nineteen people were killed and many others injured after an apparent bomb exploded at an arena where American pop singer Ariana Grande was playing a concert Monday night.
According to a statement by local police, the incident occurred just before 10:35pm local time. "Police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena," the statement read. "So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise."
With Grande popular with a younger audience, scenes from inside the arena showed many teenage concert-goers responding to the chaos after the large sound of what witnesses described as an explosion occurred just as the show concluded:
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
The Guardian reports:
The incident comes at a time when Britain has been on a severe terrorist alert, meaning an attack is highly likely.
In the immediate aftermath police told people to keep away from the area.
Witnesses said the concert had finished, the house lights came up and then a loud bang was heard. Majid Khan, 22, said: “A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena.
“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.”
Oliver Jones, 17, who attended with his 19-year-old sister, said: “The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.”
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”. People outside the concert were visibly upset, as a cacophony of sirens were heard as police and ambulance vehicles arrived at the scene.
On Twitter, those sending condolences and looking for updates—as well as those looking for family and friends in the wake of the incident—were using the hashtag #ManchesterArena for up-to-the-minute information: