Ariana Grande Concert Attack: What We Know So Far About The Manchester Blast

Ariana Grande fans
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, on May 23. Twenty-two people were killed in an explosion outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22. Andrew Yates/Reuters

Twenty-two people, including children, were killed after a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at an arena following a concert on Monday by U.S. singer Ariana Grande. The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) released a statement on Tuesday claiming responsibility for the attack.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May said following an emergency Cabinet Office meeting that security services believed they have identified the lone suicide bomber who carried out the attack but would not at this point release his name. She also confirmed earlier casualty figures announced by the Greater Manchester Police.

Read more: ISIS claims responsibility for deadly bombing of Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

May said the attack that took place at the Manchester Arena was one of the worst ever seen in the north of England. She said the bomber detonated an IED "to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately."

"All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people, who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives," she added.

Police in Manchester put parts of the city center on lockdown as they arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the blast. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police told reporters earlier in the day that the priority of the police investigation was to establish whether the individual was acting alone or as part of a network. He asked the public not to speculate on the identity of the attacker.

Hopkins added that emergency services received more than 240 calls in the aftermath of the incident and that 400 extra police officers, including armed officers, had been mobilized as part of the operation. Hopkins said a police cordon remained in place at the arena and that the city's Victoria train station would remain closed.

Queen Elizabeth II has released a public statement expressing her condolences in the wake of the attack.

"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," she said.

What we know so far:

  • The explosion occurred at 22:35 p.m. BST (5:35 p.m. EST) on Monday evening at the end of the concert and occurred in the entrance to the Victoria train and tram station. The explosion did not occur inside the arena.
  • Police and security services believe they have identified the attacker but have not at this point confirmed his name.
  • Greater Manchester Police have put part of the city center on lockdown, saying they have arrested one 23-year-old in connection with the attack.
  • Twenty-two people were killed and 59 were injured in the attack.
  • Of the 59 injured, "many are being treated for life-threatening conditions."
  • Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen nuts and bolts strewn around the scene of the explosion and to have smelled burning, the BBC reported.
  • British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "This was a barbaric attack deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society—young people and children out at a pop concert."
  • The mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, said of the victims: "These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorize and kill. This was an evil act."
  • The main British political parties have suspended campaigning ahead of the general election on June 8.
  • Assistance is being provided for people affected by the incident at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City football club. Police have directed people to use access gate 11.
  • Police have set up a hotline for people affected by the incident: 0161 856 9400.
  • Grande was not harmed in the attack. She tweeted: "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."

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