22 killed and 59 injured at Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena

An explosion at Manchester Arena after the US singer Ariana Grande had been performed to audience that included many children / photo: The Globe and Mail

Video posted on You Tube by Eric Shaun Lynch

Manchester, ENGALAND – An explosion made by a suicide bomber on Monday (22 May) night has killed at least 22 people including children and injured 59 at a packed concert hall, Manchester Arena in northern England, where singer Ariana Grande was performing,

Map of Manchester Arena location / source: The Globe and Mail/Graphic News, BBC World Service

Britain Prime Minister Theresa May called the tragedy as a sickening act targeting children and young people.

Reuters reported Ms May said, “All acts of terrorism are cowardly... but this attack stands out for its appalling sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives."

The explosion reportedly happened as the concert was finishing and fans were exiting the arena. The Manchester Arena tweeted that the incident had taken place outside the venue in a public space as fans were leaving.

Officials said that the blast was a suicide attack carried out by one person. The attacker died in the arena after detonating a device he was carrying.

Ms. Grande is reported to be safe and unharmed. Grande, whose fan base is made up largely of teenagers and young girls, said on Twitter: "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."

The northern English city remained on high alert. Witnesses at Manchester's Arndale shopping mall said they heard a ‘big bang’ and saw people running from 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. 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,” said a witness as reported by the Globe and Mail.

A victim was helped by emergency officials after the explosion / photo: The Globe and Mail

Authorities have not identified the suspect, however, Ms May said police believe they know the attacker’s identity but would not disclose it immediately.

After the incident Manchester police made an arrest in the city’s Arndale shopping centre. Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter on Tuesday, “With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester Arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester.”

But in a following tweet a minute after, police said that the man that has been arrested at the Arndale Centre was not believed to be connected to last night’s attacks.

This attack was the deadliest in Britain since 2005, where four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system. Investigations are carried out to see if the suspect had any accomplices.

The Globe and Mail wrote, a statement from Queen Elizabeth II expressed the monarch’s ‘deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event.’

Britain is currently in the midst of an election campaign but both Ms May and Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that they would postponed their campaigns.

The US President Donald Trump, speaking in Bethlehem on his Middle East tour, condemned the attack as the work of ‘evil losers’.

Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children. “The morning after the attack at Manchester Arena, parents were still looking for children who had not returned,” The New Yorker tweeted.

A netizen, newsreader and BBB of C licensed Boxing MC Zora Suleman, tweeted that Local Holiday Inn by the Manchester Arena have taken in 50 children as they wait for parents. “Phone Holiday Inn Manchester +44 161 836 9600,” she wrote.

Founder of a global Mental Health Organisation Samuel Carvalho also tweeted the same information on the Holiday Inn.

This entry was posted in International.