At least 19 people have been killed and 50 injured in a suspected suicide bomber attack at a concert in Manchester on Monday night. The blast occurred at the end of the concert of US singer Ariana Grande and is being considered a terrorist attack.
Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:35 pm (2135 GMT) at the arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people, where the US singer had been performing to an audience that included many children.
A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building
“We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming,” concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.
“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.”
A spokesman for Ariana Grande, 23, said the singer was “okay”. The singer later said on Twitter: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. Her ruling Conservative Party was preparing to suspend campaigning ahead of the election due to the suspected attack.
“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” she said in a statement. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.” May will hold a crisis response meeting later on Tuesday
Celebrities have spoken up in support of the victims and have expressed their grief on social media.
My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I’m sending all my love.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 23, 2017
Praying for everyone at @ArianaGrande‘s show
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) May 22, 2017
MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO PPL OF MANCHESTER…HAD SPECIAL TIMES THERE FROM YOUTH & BEYOND
— Cher (@cher) May 22, 2017
Just played Manchester.. crazy.. really don’t have words. I’m so sorry. should be a safe place. 🙁 Thinking of all those affected.
— Sabrina Carpenter (@SabrinaAnnLynn) May 22, 2017
My heart goes out to everyone in #Manchester horrible, horrible news.
— LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (@leannrimes) May 22, 2017
💔stay strong Manchester💔
— josh groban (@joshgroban) May 22, 2017