Manchester Arena attack
Posted: May 23, 2017
At least 19 people have been killed and 50 injured in an explosion which is treated as a "terrorist incident", at a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in the Manchester city in the UK, police said today.
"Police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. So far 19 people have been confirmed dead with around 50 others injured," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.
"This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise," the statement said.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud "bang" from inside the venue, which was playing host to a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande. Video footage from the scene showed bloodied victims being helped by emergency services.
Grande is safe, her spokesperson said.
"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," an eyewitness said.
The blasts reportedly went off at the end of the concert near the box office area of the venue.
"Some people were screaming they'd seen blood but other people were saying it was balloons busting or a speaker had been popped," said another eyewitness.
The UK's Network Rail said train lines out of Manchester Victoria station, which is close to the concert venue, were blocked.
The injured were being treated at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe and Oldham hospitals.
The police also executed a controlled explosion on an unidentified object at Cathedral Garden, near the Arena and just few yards from historic Manchester Cathedral.
"This is an absolutely horrifying incident and our thoughts are with everyone affected, especially those who have lost loved ones or been injured and traumatised," said Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.
"If it is confirmed this was a terrorist attack it is a monstrous act. But also a deeply futile one. Manchester is proud and strong city and we will not allow those who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims," Leese added.
British Transport Police said the explosion was in the foyer area of Manchester Arena. The incident occurred just few metres away from the IRA bomb blast spot at city centre.
The Victoria Station was closed and it affected all the trams and train services.
Manchester Arena, formerly known as the MEN Arena, is the biggest indoor venue in the city with a capacity of around 18,000 for concert
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