Blast rocks an Ariana Grande concert and kills 19 at Manchester Arena
Manchester, May23:A blast rocked an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in the city of Manchester, England, on Monday evening, sending a crowd of thousands into a panic and resulting in police locking down sections of the city.
Manchester police confirmed at least 19 people had died, and around 50 were injured, with U.K. authorities investigating the possibility of a terror attack.
Follow below for live updates on the incident as it unfolds.
11:05 p.m. EST: Ariana Grande tweets condolences for victims of suspected attack
Pop star Ariana Grande, who was unharmed during the incident, tweeted a short message to survivors, fans and others at shortly before 11:00 p.m. EST.
“Broken,” Grande wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”
We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act,” Grande’s manager Scooter Braun also said, according to the Guardian.
10:46 p.m. EST: Casualty count rises to at least 59 injured
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY? pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
According to Sky News, local ambulance services report at least 59 injuries in addition to the 19 previously reported deaths as a result of the incident — though it was not immediately clear how many of the injuries were sustained in the explosion or the ensuing stampede in the arena’s hallways.
Authorities apparently believe the explosion was a suicide bombing, which if confirmed would make the attack the deadliest in the U.K. since the July 7, 2005, London bombings, which killed 52 as well as four perpetrators and wounded over 700 others.
According to MSNBC’s live broadcast, law enforcement and intelligence officials have identified at least one suspect, though have not released any names as the investigation is ongoing.
10:12 p.m. EST: Local authorities confirm suspected bombing
“Currently, we have 19 people confirmed to have lost their lives in the explosion” as well as 50 casualties at six hospitals, Ian Hopkins, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, said in a press conference early Tuesday morning local time.
Hopkins said an emergency number, 01618569400, has been activated for people to report lost or missing loved ones.
“We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident” until more information emerges about the cause of the explosion, Hopkins added.
“As you’ll understand, we are still receiving information,” Hopkins said. “… I want to thank people for their support and ask them to remain vigilant.”
9:39 p.m. EST: P.M. Theresa May calls blast an “appalling terrorist attack”
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May responded to the suspected attack in a statement, saying her “thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected in what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”
According to BuzzFeed UK‘s Hannah Al-Othman, a “huge area” of the town was cordoned off and panicked people were trapped as train service was suspended.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017