Ariana Grande Concert Blast As It Happened: Deaths Confirmed In Explosion in Manchester

Manchester Ariana Grande
Vehicles are seen near a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena, where singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, U.K. Reuters

A suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device killing at least 22 people, including children, at Manchester Arena immediately after a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the British city.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Tuesday that the blast, caused by a lone suicide bomber, also injured 59 people. The indident is being treated as a terrorist attack.

One man has been arrested in connection with the explosion, while CBS news has identified the suicide bomber as Salman Abedi, an individual known ot British authorities prior to the attacks.

Sixty ambulances were dispatched to the Manchester Arena in the aftermath of the explosion that took place at 22:35 BST (6:35 p.m. EST).

THE LATEST:

4:57 p.m. (10:57 a.m. EST): ​The British Prime Mininster's office has held a special breifing to for updates on the situation.

  • President Donald Trump and other world leaders have spoken with May to express their support.
  • Another emergency cabinet meeting will be held later today.
  • The spokesman has refused to say whether the bomber was linked to Islamist extremism, adding that police were still working on confirming his identity.

4:35 p.m. (10:35 a.m. EST): Victims of the terror attack last night were left with metal bolts embedded in their bodies the relatives of one missing woman have said.

The Guardian reported at least three women were having nuts and bolts removed by surgeons following devastating injuries, corroborating earlier reports by the BBC that shrapnel had been found at the site of the blast.

4:14 p.m. (10:14 a.m. EST): A vigil will be held in Manchester's Albert Square in the center of the city for the victims and families of those from the Manchester attack.

3:38 p.m, (9:43 a.m. EST): The US director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, has just returned from London where time speaking with intelligence colleagues, according to the Guardian.

Coats said the US intelligence community "have not verified, yet, the connection" of ISIS to the Manchester attack.

2:43 p.m. (9:43 a.m. EST): CBS News reports the identity of the bomber as Salman Abedi, an individual known ot British authorities prior to the attacks.

2:14 p.m. (9:14 a.m. EST): Greater Manchester Police have carried out a controlled explosion in Fallowfield in south Manchester as one of two warrants relared to last night's attack.

2:02 p.m. (9:02 p.m. EST): The North West Ambulance Service has said 12 children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the attack, according to the Guardian.

  • Georgina Callander, 18, has been confirmed by her college as one of the 22 people killed in the attack.
  • Lancashire County Council has also confirmed the death of 8-year-old school girl Saffie Roussos.

1:55 p.m. (8:55 a.m. EST): The British Prime Minister Theresa May and the British Home Secretary Amber Rudd have arrived in Manchester to the headquarters of Greater Manchester Police.

1:46 p.m. (8:45 a.m. EST): Jose Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United Football Club, has said in a statement that the victims and families of yesterday's attack are in his thoughts and the thoughts of his players as they prepare to travel to Sweden where they will play AFC Ajax.

1:31 p.m. (8:31 a.m. EST): An English claim of responsibility by ISIS has been released online following an earlier message in Arabic. It referred to the suicide bomber as a "soldier of the Khilafah" a term the militant group uses to refer to individuals who carry out attacks in the name of ISIS.

12:49 a.m. (7:49 p.m. EST): The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack. Jihadist monitoring group SITE intelligence posted the claim on Twitter. The statement, circulated on Telegram, said the attack was carried out by a member of ISIS with an explosive device planted at the concert.

Read More: ISIS statement claims deadly Manchester attack on Ariana Grande concert

12:27 a.m. (7:27 p.m. EST): Manchester United's squad has held a minute's silence at its Carrington training ground in memory of the 22 people killed in the attack in the city center on Monday night.

United, which has cancelled a press conference scheduled to be held this evening, plays Ajax in the Europa League final at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday evening. UEFA, European football's governing body, released a statement on Tuesday confirming that the game will go ahead.

"UEFA is shocked by last night's attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected.

"There is currently no specific intelligence which might suggest that any of the UEFA Europa League final activities in Stockholm may be the target of attacks.

"UEFA has been closely working with local authorities and the Swedish FA for many months and the terrorist risk had been taken into account since the very beginning of the project. Furthermore, a number of additional security measures were implemented following the attacks in Stockholm last April.

"Due to the tight security arrangements, UEFA urges fans to arrive at the stadium as early as possible, as detailed checks will be made at the entrances, resulting in potential delays in accessing the stadium."

12:21 a.m. (7:21 p.m. EST): Queen Elizabeth II has written a public statement to the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester expressing her deepest condolences to those caught up in the the attack on Mancheser Arena.

The Queen's statement:

The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.

Read More: Queen Elizabeth's Full Statement on Ariana Grande Concert Attack in Manchester

11:52 a.m. (6:52 a.m. EST): Greater Manchester Police have put part of the city center on "lockdown" saying they have arrested one 23-year-old in connection with last night's attack.

11:39 a.m. (6:39 a.m. EST): The Arndale Shopping Center, the largest shopping mall in Manchester, was briefly evacuated but has reopened as tensions run in the city, Reuters reported.

11:31 a.m. (6:31 a.m. EST): A sixth form college in Manchester has confirmed in a statement that one of its students Georgina Callander died in yesterday's attack. She is the first individual to be officially named as one of the dead.

It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack...

Posted by Runshaw College Sixth Form Centre on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

11:12 a.m: (6:12 a.m. EST): Speaking following an emergency cabinet meeting British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the attack on the Manchester Arena "stands out for its appaling, sickening carnage."

  • The prime minister stated police and security services believe they have identified the attacker but cannot at this point confirm his name.
  • She stated 22 people were killed and 59 injured in the attack.
  • Of the 59 injured "many are being treated for life threatening conditions," the prime minister said.
  • Theresa May lauded the efforts of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. "The attempt to divide us brought many countless act of kindness," she said.
RTX37602
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street in London, May 23, 2017 REUTERS/Neil Hall

Read More: Manchester Attack: Bomber struck arena's weakest spot—the exit

10:51 a.m. (5:51 a.m. EST): Greater Manchester Police have asked people to avoid the city centre following last night's attack.

They have said in a tweet that the emergency services are still working at the scene.

09:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m. EST): Friends and family have been sharing images of those still unaccounted as they search for their loved ones.

The parents of Laura MacIntyre from the remote Scottish island of Barra have shared this image of their daughter and her friend Eilidh Macleod after the pair did not contact them from Manchester after attending the concert.

9:27 a.m. (4:27 a.m. EST): The Muslim Council of Britain, the U.K.'s largest national representative of Muslim associations, mosques and schools has condemned the Manchester bombing as "horiffic" and "criminal."

9:27 a.m. (4:27 a.m. EST): Speaking in Bethlehem alongside the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump has offered condolences to the victims, calling the attacker and those like him "losers."

RTX375JK
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, May 23, 2017 REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

President Donald Trump's Statement in full:

I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families – so many families of the victims.

We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that's a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that's what they are. They are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.

Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed, we cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today's attack it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society for ever.

This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated, and the innocent life must be protected. All civilised nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace.

Read more: Manchester Attack: Donald Trump calls attackers 'evil losers'

9:09 a.m. (4:09 a.m. EST): Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the British Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the attack.

Read More: Manchester Attack: World leaders condemn 'Heartbreaking' and 'Horrific' bombing at Ariana Grande boncert

8:54 a.m. (3:54 a.m. EST): Manchester is home to two of England's most prominent football clubs, both of whom were quick to react to the news and express their condolences.

Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, 2.3 miles away from Manchester Arena in the east of the city, was being used on Tuesday morning as an emergency help center for those injured in the blast or searching for missing relatives.

City tweeted out a message of condolence in the early hours of Tuesday morning, saying: "It's with great sadness we hear of the terrible events at the Arena. Our hearts go out to all affected and to our city's emergency services."

United, its neighbor which plays at Old Trafford in the south-west of Manchester, 3.9 miles from Manchester Arena, posted on Twitter that it was "deeply shocked by last night's terrible events."

United plays Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday night. Several of those who will feature for Jose Mourinho's side tomorrow expressed their shock including Jesse Lingard and Manchester-born Marcus Rashford.

Ajax, United's Dutch opponent at Friends Arena in the Swedish capital, sent "love from Amsterdam to Manchester."

7:43 a.m. (2:43 a.m. EST): Charlotte Campbell, whose 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, was at the concert is appealing for more information about her whereabouts.

She told the BBC's Radio 4 Today program that Olivia's friend Adam who she had gone to the Manchester Arena with was found in hospital.

7:38 a.m. (2:38 a.m. EST): The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has described the attack on the Manchester Arena as "an evil act".

The newly elected mayor has offered the suport of the city to the families and friends of the victims saying it will fo whatever it can to support them. Burnham paid tribute to the emergency services and the people of Manchester.

"It will be that spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together." he said.

7:18 a.m. (2:18 a.m. EST): Speaking to reporters Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police has confirmed 22 people were killed in the explosion at the Manchester Arena, 59 individuals injured.

The blast took place just outside the arena in a public foyer shortly after the concert by the singer Ariana Grande ended. The attacker was a man, acting alone who died at the scene after detonating an improvised explosive device

An investigation is now under way to establish whether he acted alone. At the time of the conference none of the identities of the dead or injured have been officially confirmed.

4:56 a.m. (11:56 p.m. EST): The UK's North West Ambulance Service has spoken out about the level of support it provided in the aftermath of the explosion.

4:47 a.m. (11:47 p.m. EST): Police in Manchester have told the BBC there will be no trains stopping or starting at the city's Victoria Station for the whole of the day on Tuesday.

4:35 a.m. (11:35 p.m. EST): Singer Ariana Grande has indefinitely suspended her tour in the wake of the explosion according to TMZ. The 23-year-old earlier tweeted that she was "broken" following the incident.

In a statement, Grande's manager Scooter Braun said: "We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act."

He added: "We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."

4:21 a.m. (11:21 p.m. EST): Parents of teenagers and children who attended the concert are sharing photos of their loved ones in a bid to find them.

4:14 a.m. (11:14 p.m. EST): News of good deeds in the aftermath of the explosion have emerged as taxi drivers reportedly offered to take people home for free, Manchester residents offered up their homes to people stranded after the blast and people handed out bottles of water to those walking away from the incident.

4:01 a.m. (11:01 p.m. EST): Pop star Ariana Grande has tweeted about the explosion at her concert.

3:58 a.m. (10:58 p.m. EST): One witness speaking to BBC 5 Live described the scene as being like "something from a war film" and said he had been blown off his feet by the blast before fleeing into the stadium away from the explosion. The man said people with serious-looking injuries were lying on the floor.

3:40 a.m. (10:40 p.m. EST): The UK's National Health Service has confirmed the number of people being treated currently stands at 59, while additional people were treated at the scene and 19 people were killed in the blast.

3:35 a.m. (10:35 p.m. EST): The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a statement on the explosion.

3:18 a.m. (10:18 p.m. EST): Former FBI special agent Ali Soufan said there were a number of suspects if the incident did indeed prove to be a terror attack.

3:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m. EST): The explosion took place by the exit of the venue closest to Manchester's Victoria Station, where many people leave the venue to access public transport.

3:12 a.m. (10:12 p.m. EST): Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said in a statement: "I'm shocked by the apparent terrorist attack this evening in England and I strongly condemn this violence. As we await details, the United States should stand ready to assist our ally to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice. In this difficult time, our countries will remain united, especially when it comes to combating terrorism in all its forms."

He added: "My heart goes out to all affected by this attack, and I wish a speedy recovery to the survivors."

3:04 a.m. (10:04 p.m. EST): The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, said in a press briefing given outside Greater Manchester Police headquarters that 19 people were confirmed to have lost their lives in the explosion and around 50 casulaties were being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester.

He added an emergency number, 01618569400, has been made available in the UK for people concerned about their loved ones

The police chief added the blast was being treated as a terrorist incident until further details emerge and said police in Manchester were working with national counter-terrorism parters.

3 a.m. (10:00 p.m. EST): Eyewitnesses have shared footage and pictures from the scene, where they described the moment concertgoers realized something was wrong.

2:54 a.m. (9:54 p.m. EST): UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said of the incident: "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has also commented on the attack on social media.

2:46 a.m. (9:46 p.m. EST): Two U.S. officials told Reuters they suspect a suicide bomber was involved but this has not been confirmed or denied by UK officials or police.

2:38 a.m. (9:38 p.m. EST): Witnesses described the panic that took place after the blast, with fans of Ariana Grande trampled as people tried to flee the venue. One women told BBC 5 Live that scared children were left screaming for their parents as they became separated from them in the chaos.

2:36 a.m. (9:36 p.m. EST): Police are continuing to work the scene and have once again asked that people try to avoid the area.

2:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. EST): More details have emerged about the Isis supporters cheering the explosion in Manchester.

2:18 a.m. (9:18 p.m. EST): Police are reportedly carrying out a searches in the area, including in local hotels. The authorities are expected to give a press conference shortly.

2:05 a.m. (9:05 p.m. EST): The concert is believed to have started and finished late. Had the concert finished earlier it is believed there would have been a greater number of people close to the site of the explosion.

1:58 a.m. (8:58 p.m. EST): Police are continuing to patrol the area around the concert venue as well as the previously evacuated Manchester Victoria train station.

1:50 a.m. (8:50 p.m. EST): There have been reports of celebrations about the Manchester explosion on Isis-linked Telegram channels, although there has been no claim on the incident by the group or any other organization. Police are continuing to treat the incident as a possible terrorist incident, but this has not been confirmed.

1:45 a.m. (8:45 p.m. EST): The controlled explosion was not a suspicious item, police say.

1:38 a.m. (8:38 p.m. EST): A controlled explosion has taken place.

1:35 a.m. (8:35 p.m. EST): #RoomForManchester is trending on social media, as people in the city are offering to help anyone stranded after the blast.

1:29 a.m. (8:29 p.m. EST): Police say they have found a second device, which they believe may be a bomb, and are intending to carry out a controlled explosion, the BBC reported.

1:20 a.m. (8:20 p.m. EST): The venue has released a short tweet following the incident.

1:13 a.m. (8:13 p.m. EST): Police have confirmed 19 people were killed in the explosion and others injured.

1:07 a.m. (8:07 p.m. EST): Facebook has activated its 'safe check' feature for people to mark themselves safe following the blast. Meanwhile, there are a number of social media posts from people attempting to locate missing friends and family in Manchester.

1:03 a.m. (8:03 p.m. EST): Manchester Police are treating the blast at Grande's concert as a possible terrorist incident.

1 a.m. (8:00 p.m. EST): Police in Manchester have announced they will be providing a phone line for concerned people trying to locate their loved ones following the blast.

12:48 a.m. (7:48 p.m. EST): Local hotels have opened their doors to teenage fans left stranded by the blast, which resulted in the nearby Manchester Victoria Station being closed and trains diverted from the area.

12:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. EST): Concertgoers described the moment the explosion took place, at around 10pm local time, speaking of scenes of panic as fans of Grande attempted to flee the area.

"We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," Catherine Macfarlane, who attended the concert, told Reuters.

Another Grande fan, Oliver Jones, 17, told British wire service the Press Association: "I was in the toilet and heard a loud bang just after the concert had finished and people had started to leave. The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run."

He added: "I saw people running and screaming towards one direction and then many were turning around to run back the other way. Security was running out as well as the fans and concertgoers."

"In so much shock and panic. You see this on the news all the time and never expect it to happen to you. I just had to run and make sure me and my sister were safe," he said.

Police said in a statement that there were "a number of confirmed fatalities" along with other people who had been injured, and avoided people to stay away from the area while the emergency services worked.

A spokesperson for Grande has confirmed the singer is "okay" following the incident.

Manchester Victoria Station, which backs onto the concert venue, was evacuated by police following the explosion and trains are not running into or out of the station.

"Emergency services are dealing with an incident at Manchester Arena. As Manchester Victoria is located near the arena, the station has been evacuated and all lines closed," National Rail said in an online statement.

"Trains are currently unable to run to / from Manchester Victoria. Some trains will be cancelled throughout or start / terminate at alternative stations. Disruption is expected to continue until end of the day."

Ariana Grande Concert Blast As It Happened: Deaths Confirmed In Explosion in Manchester | World