An explosion ripped through the Manchester Arena in England after a concert by singer Ariana Grande, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens more, British officials say. It is being treated as a suspected terrorist attack.
The incident happened just after 10:30 p.m. local time on Monday when an explosion occurred at the entrance of the venue, where Ariana Grande had just finished a concert. Thousands of people were attending the event.
“So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured,” Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on early Tuesday. “This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”
The North West Ambulance Service said 59 patients were transported to area hospitals, though there was no immediate word on their conditions. A number of other people were treated at the scene. Ariana Grande was not injured, a representative said.
Videos from the scene showed people – many of them teenagers – fleeing from the venue in panic. A large number of emergency services, including heavily-armed police officers, have responded to the scene.
Train operator Northern said the Manchester Victoria Station, where the venue is located, has been evacuated. Tram and train services have been canceled until further notice, leaving many people stranded.
“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” Ariana Grande said in a tweet. Entertainment news website TMZ reported that she has suspended the remainder of her world tour, which was scheduled to continue with concerts in London, Belgium, Germany, and other countries.
“Tonight, our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack,” Scooter Braun, Grande’s manager, said in a statement. “We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester’s first responders who rushed towards danger to help save lives.”
Braun added: “We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers.”
At 1:30 a.m., a controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious device that was found on the Cathedral Gardens square, which is close to the Manchester Arena. A loud explosion was heard but Greater Manchester Police confirmed that it only contained clothing, not a bomb.
“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”
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