LONDON (AP) — Twenty-two people were killed and about 50 injured following an explosion Monday at Manchester Arena in England, where pop singer Ariana Grande was performing.
“This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident,” Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.
“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain’s Press Association. “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 as they were trying to exit.”
Added Oliver Jones, 17: “The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.”
A man at the scene has been identified as a “probable” suicide bomber, according to a CNN source.
Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is working to establish “the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”
She said her thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected. The government is expected to call an emergency Cabinet meeting.
Ariana Grande concert blast
This is what was said by the arena’s PA system:
“Ladies and gentlemen, please take your time. There’s no need to bunch up. There’s no problems here. Just take your time and keep exiting the building. There’s no need to bunch up and run. Take your time. There’s no problems here. Thank you for coming and having a good time tonight. Everything is fine. Just take your time exiting the building. Thank you very much. Walk slowly. There is no need to run.
Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled.
Joseph Carozza, a representative from Grande’s US record label, said the singer is OK and they are investigating what happened.
The Dangerous Woman Tour is the third concert tour by Grande to support her third studio album, Dangerous Woman. The tour began on February 3 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Britain’s terrorist threat level has been set at “severe” in recent years indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.
If the incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the most deadly in Britain since the London subway bombings in 2005.
Grande’s role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s high school sitcom “Victorious” propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.
The 23-year-old Grande, with her signature high ponytail, went on to also star in spinoffs that included “iCarly,” as she worked to develop her recording career.
From Manchester the tour is to move through Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, through the summer with stops in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and on to Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia and more.
San Francisco police have issued the following statement:
The San Francisco Police Department is monitoring developments of the attack at the concert in the UK, and collaborating with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners. There are no known threats to San Francisco. We will continue to work with our entertainment venues and organizers of large events to ensure that plans are well thought out and response plans are in place in case an emergency situation occurs.
— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017
— Chris Pawley (@ChrisPawley1) May 22, 2017
Police responded to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow….
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
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Sadness for the loss of life in Manchester, England. Apparent bombing. Reminds us all to be vigilant. If you see something, say something.
— Contra Costa Sheriff (@CoCoSheriff) May 23, 2017
— SantaClaraCoSheriff (@SCCoSheriff) May 23, 2017