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An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing at least 22 people and injuring dozens in what police say they are treating as a terrorist attack.
On Tuesday morning local time, Greater Manchester Police said 22 people were confirmed dead and roughly 59 were injured by the explosion at Manchester Arena. Emergency vehicles were helping the injured and bomb disposal units were later seen outside the venue. Manchester police say they are working with national police, intel agencies to investigate the concert explosion.
There was mass panic after the explosion at the end of the concert, which was part of Grande’s The Dangerous Woman Tour. The singer was not injured, according to a representative. Britain’s terrorist threat level has been set at “severe” in recent years indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.
Grande responded to the incident tweeting, “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.
Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m. but there were few further details. “A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain’s Press Association. “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.”
Added Oliver Jones, 17: “The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.”
Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is working to establish “the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”
May is due to chair a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee later Tuesday. She and other candidates suspended campaigning for Britain’s June 8 election after the blast.
If the incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the most deadly in Britain since the London subway bombings in 2005.
Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled. Joseph Carozza, a representative from Grande’s US record label, said the singer is OK and they are investigating what happened.
The Department of Homeland Security says there is no evidence of credible threats against music venues in the U.S. The department also says the U.S. public may experience increased security in and around public places and events.
DHS says it is closely monitoring the situation at Manchester Arena and working with U.K. officials to obtain additional information about the cause of the explosion. The government is urging U.S. citizens in Manchester to heed directions from local authorities and be vigilant about their security.
Frantic loved ones of young people missing have taken to Twitter and Instagram with their photos and pleas for help. Many Manchester residents responded early Tuesday with offers of shelter and details on locations where displaced concert-goers had been taken in.
Fellow stars offered condolences as well. Taylor Swift tweeted, “My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I’m sending all my love.” Ellie Goulding, Cher (fresh from a big night at the Billboard Awards) and Katy Perry were among others to tweet their support.
The Dangerous Woman Tour is the third concert tour by Grande to support her third studio album, Dangerous Woman. The tour began on February 3 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
From Manchester the tour is to move through Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, through the summer with stops in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and on to Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia and more.
Police responded to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow….
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
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