A suicide bomber has blown himself up at the Manchester Arena in England after a concert by singer Ariana Grande, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more, British police say. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
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.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police said on Tuesday morning that at least 22 people had been killed and 59 others have been taken to area hospitals. A number of children are among those killed.
Hopkins said the attack was carried out a lone suicide bomber, though it was not immediately known whether he was acting alone or as part of a network. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
“We believe at this stage [that]the attack last night was conducted by one man,” Hopkins said. “The attacker, I can confirm, died at the Arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated, causing this atrocity.”
Videos from the scene showed people – many of them teenagers – fleeing from the venue in panic. About 60 ambulances and more than 400 police officers, some of them heavily armed, responded to the scene.
Train operator Northern said the Manchester Victoria Station, where the venue is located, was evacuated after the explosion. 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 contained only 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, who will chair an emergency meeting, said in a statement. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected.”
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