An explosion at a concert in Manchester, England has left at least 19 dead and approximately 50 injured, according to police this Monday night. Currently, law enforcement is treating the blast as an act of terrorism.
Armed police, emergency services and helicopters rushed to the scene. Many of the concert attendees were female teenagers and their parents. Witnesses report that parents are scrambling to locate their children.
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) May 22, 2017
“It was really scary,” Michelle Sullivan told BBC news. Sullivan had attended the concert with her 12-year-old and 15-year-old daughters. “Just as the lights have gone down we heard a really loud explosion… Everybody screamed.”
The Manchester Arena can hold approximately 21,000 people. GM Police posted an official statement on their twitter regarding the blast in the arena.
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
The hundreds of fans at the Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester Arena fled after a blast occurred in the foyer area. Dozens were left screaming and covered in blood. There have been unconfirmed reports that many of the injuries suffered after the blast have been “shrapnel type injuries”.
Local hospitals have also said they are dealing with “mass casualties.”
Cell phone video captured the moments short after the explosion. Those in the arena can be seen running and screaming. At first, some of the concert-goers mistook the loud blast emerging from the speakers or balloons popping.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
“The lights came on after the gig and people were starting to leave. As I turned to the left there was an explosion,” David Richardson told reporters. He had attended the concert with his 13-year-old daughter Emily.
“It was about 40ft behind us near one of the exits. We just thought it was people messing about then it happened again. Another explosion sounded. Then we saw the smoke. Everyone just fled. Some people were injured. We saw blood on people when we got outside. People were just running all over the place.”
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“She did her last song, we were in the lower tier and there was an explosion behind us at the back of the arena.” said eyewitness Sasina Akhtar. “We saw young girls with blood on them, everyone was screaming and people were running. There was lots of smoke.”
Singer Ariana Grande is reported to be OK. Police are still on the hunt for any suspects.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed earlier that they are dealing with a “serious incident” and urge people to “stay away from the area”. Local roads to and from the scene have been blocked.