Police are responding to an explosion that took place at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England tonight. Greater Manchester police said they were called to the arena at just before 10:35PM local time on Monday. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.
Local police have released a statement revealing that there have been 22 confirmed deaths and roughly 59 injured.
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
It has been confirmed that singer Ariana Grande is safe. BBC correspondent, Daniel Sanford, revealed on Twitter that the explosion is being treated as a “possible terrorist incident.”
The North West Counter Terrorism Unit is treating the incident at #ManchesterArena as a possible terrorist incident.
— Daniel Sandford (@BBCDanielS) May 22, 2017
NBC have also reported an “increasing confidence” in the likelihood of the incident being the result of a suicide bombing.
@PeteWilliamsNBC: "Increasing confidence" among investigators this was terror attack; forensic evidence points to possible backpack bomb.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 23, 2017
Witness accounts from the arena are also beginning to surface describing a harrowing scene after the explosion.
— CNN International (@cnni) May 23, 2017
One of the concert attendees, Abby Barker, told ABC News that the singer had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. “I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic,” she said. “We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”
Eyewitness Andy Holey told BBC that he was waiting outside the concert when he was blown over by the force of what he described as an “explosion.” When he awoke, he stated that he saw many casualties around him and added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.
According to a spokesman for the British Home Office, they are holding a senior staff meeting on the Manchester incident this evening.