22 people, including children, have been killed and 59 injured in a terror attack at Manchester Arena.
Greater Manchester Police say the lone attacker who died in the blast was carrying an ‘improvised explosive device which he detonated’.
Greater Manchester Police have issued a statement that they are treating the bombing as a terrorist attack. It would be the deadliest terrorist attack in the UK since the 7th of July 2005 London bombings, in which 52 people were killed (not including the deaths of the four suicide bombers).
Several sources have reported that the blast may have been a suicide attack; this was confirmed by police. Other unconfirmed reports indicated that the explosion was potentially a nail bomb, with witnesses claiming there were “nuts and bolts flying everywhere”.
At approximately 01:35 BST, a subsequent controlled explosion was conducted by police in Cathedral Gardens after what was believed to be an explosive device was discovered. The item was later found to be clothing that had been left behind.
North West Ambulance Service reported that 60 of its ambulances attended the bombing, escorting 59 people to local hospitals and treating a number of walking wounded on site.
Residents and taxi companies in Manchester offered free transportation or accommodation via Twitter to those left stranded at the concert. Parents of children attending the concert were separated in the aftermath of the explosion. A nearby Holiday Inn served as a shelter for children displaced by the bombing, with separated parents being directed there by officials.
The incident took place at the end of a concert by American singer Ariana Grande, during her Dangerous Woman Tour. Ariana Grande was not hurt during the incident and was reported to be fine by several of her representatives.
The arena is an indoor arena in Hunts Bank, Manchester just north of the city centre, most of the arena is situated above Manchester Victoria station. The arena has the highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, and second largest Europe with a capacity of 21,000 and is one of the world’s busiest indoor arenas, hosting music and sporting events such as boxing and swimming.
The arena was a key part of the city’s bids to host the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000 and was eventually used for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Explosions can be seen in this Dash-cam video taken outside the venue, at 7 seconds in a building lights up.
— Joe Gregory (@JoeAaronGregory) May 22, 2017