At least 19 people were killed and about 50 others were injured Monday when an explosion rocked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
Last statement-incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) 23 May 2017
Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that they are treating the explosion as a “terrorist incident, until the police know otherwise.”
The British Transport Police said an explosion took place in the foyer of the Manchester Arena at 10:30 a.m., around the time the concert ended. Others reported hearing two blasts, a discrepancy that could not immediately be reconciled. The cause of the explosions was not immediately confirmed, but the bomb disposal units were on the scene more than two hours after the first explosion.
Spokesman Joseph Carozza said Grande, who was executed in the arena as part of her “Dangerous Woman” world tour, “okay”, and added, “we are continuing to investigate what happened.”
Witnesses described panic as concertgoers rushed to the outside of the arena. Video of the inside of the arena and let the people scream as they made their way from the middle of a sea of pink balloons.
Has Sasina Akhtar told the Manchester Evening News that the Grande had just finished her last song as “there was an explosion behind us on the back of the arena. We saw young girls with blood on them, everyone was screaming and people were running. There was a lot of smoke.”
David Richardson, who attended the show with his 13-year-old daughter, told the MEN that he heard two explosions shortly after the show.
“It was about 40 feet behind us near one of the exits. We thought it was people messing about and then it happened again. Another explosion sounded. Then we saw the smoke. Everyone fled.”
Majid Khan, 22, said she heard a “huge bomb-like bang that huge panic everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena.”
“Everyone was in a tremendous state of panic, calling each other as the only way was to go to the toilet, while this was abandoned, so it was just very disturbing for everyone.”
Another witness, Oliver Jones, 17, told Sky News he was in the bathroom when he heard a loud bang.”
“The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena, and people began to walk away,” Jones said. “I (saw) the people running and screaming in the direction of the one direction and then many were turning around to walk back the other way. The protection was carried out as well as the fans and concert goers.”
Manchester Victoria railway station, which is under the arena, was also evacuated and all trains were cancelled, but there were no initial reports of injuries.
Stranded concertgoers reportedly were waiting for the rides home in the nearby bars and hotels. Sky News reported that some city taxi drivers were offering free rides to help clear traffic out of the centre of the city.
The Dangerous Woman Tour is the third concert tour by the Grande in support of her third studio album, Dangerous Woman. In Manchester, the tour was to Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, in the summer, with stops in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia and more.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.