Twenty-two people have been killed and fifty-nine injured in a suspected suicide attack at Manchester Arena.
The attack occurred at 22:35 last night, Monday 22 May, at the end of an Ariana Grande concert. The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident. Children are reported to be among the twenty-two killed.
It has been reported that the incident occurred at the end of the concert and that thousands fled the arena following the explosion. The police have said the attacker died after detonating an ‘improvised explosive device’.
Sixty ambulances responded to the incident and fifty-nine casualties have been taken to six hospitals around the city. Manchester’s Victoria station was evacuated and all trains were cancelled.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has said the attack is “the most horrific incident” Greater Manchester had ever faced that the authorities are now working to establish whether the attacker “was acting alone or as part of a network”.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said the city would “pull together…that’s what we are. That’s what we do. They won’t win.”
Ariana Grande has said she is “broken” by what happened. She has been joined by many other public figures and politicians in offering words of support following last night’s tragic events.
Following the incident Theresa May has called a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee at 09:00 this morning. Campaigning for the General Election has been suspended.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has 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 great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.
This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society – its intention was to sow fear – its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has issued a statement:
London stands united with the great city of Manchester today after this barbaric and sickening attack. This was a cowardly act of terrorism that targeted a concert attended by thousands of children and young people.
Manchester and the rest of Britain will never be cowed by terrorism. Those who want to destroy our way of life and divide us will never succeed.
Police have set up an emergency telephone number in response to the attack. The number is 0161 856 9400.
Our thoughts are with the city of Manchester and the families affected at this time.