Children are among the 22 dead in a suicide nail bomb attack at the Ariana Grande concert held in the 21,000-seat Manchester Arena, where at least 59 people have been injured by the blast that went off as kids were leaving the packed venue.
The location of the attack is about 200 miles north of London and 45 miles east of Liverpool, in England.
Not since World War II has the city known horror on such a scale – and not since the 7/7/2005 bombings in London, in which more than 50 people died, has there been a fatal atrocity of such a scale on British soil.
Police believe the attack was carried out by one man, and they are investigating if he was part of a wider network, but authorities have confirmed that the attacker died after detonating an ‘improvised explosive device’ inside the stadium.
“This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see,” said Chief constable Ian Hopkins. “Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives.”
“Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones,” said Hopkins. “We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.”
“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night,” said Hopkins. “This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in the operation during the night.”
More than 250 calls came in and emergency services were very quickly on scene after police were called at 10.33pm local time to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. Authorities said 60 ambulances were dispatched to the arena.
“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe that while the attack last night was conducted by one man, the priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network,” said Hopkins. “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.”
Hopkins asked people not to speculate on details or to share names, calling it “a complex and wide-ranging investigation.”
He said the priority is to work with the national counter-terrorist policing network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack.
All election campaigning has been suspended for the 8 June general election, according to Theresa May, the Conservative Party leader who became the second female prime minister of the United Kingdom at one of the most turbulent times in recent political history after voters decided to leave the European Union last June.
“I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with family and friends of those who have died and been injured,” said Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor Party leader who has been compared to America’s Bernie Sanders. “Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.”
No identities of those killed or injured have been confirmed. No arrests have been made.
President Trump, who is traveling in the Middle East, was briefed on the incident.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!