At least one explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed dozens.
Nature of the explosion(s) remains unclear.
Witnesses described mangled victims leaving the concert hall.
Emergency services have advised only those with life-threatening injuries to call.
An explosion at a concert hall in Manchester in the U.K. has reportedly killed no less than 19 people who had hoped only to see Ariana Grande.
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
According to reports, the blast occurred just after the concert ended, and witnesses reported hearing a “huge bang.”
“Officers have told the BBC there is a second suspect device near where the first explosion occurred,” the outlet now reports.
The Guardian front page, Tuesday 23.05.17 – Murder in Manchester: at least 19 die in arena attack pic.twitter.com/SCqddBZdvb
— The Guardian (@guardian) May 23, 2017
Emergency personnel reported being so overwhelmed with injuries, only those “with life-threatening emergencies” should call for assistance — and that a “large number of resources” were already on scene.
Helen Pidd, a reporter for the Guardian, tweeted an horrific description of the aftermath as the scope of the carnage is not yet possible to assess, stating,
“People are still emerging, shell shocked: a family from Pontefract say they saw a woman stagger out, on open wound exposed all down one leg.”
People are still emerging, shell shocked: a family from Pontefract say they saw a woman stagger out, on open wound exposed all down one leg
— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) May 22, 2017
BBC reports, “Greater Manchester Police said there are a ‘number of confirmed fatalities and others injured.’
“Witnesses said they heard two loud bangs, reported to be near the ticket office of the arena. The cause of the reported explosion is unknown.”
Just after 10:30 p.m. local time, the Guardian reports, the explosion ripped into the stadium, sending the scene into pandemonium and chaos as shocked attendees attempted to exit en masse.
Eyewitness Robert Tempkin, 22, described the aftermath to the BBC,
“Everyone was screaming and running, there were coats and people’s phones on the floor. People just dropped everything.
“Some people were screaming they’d seen blood but other people were saying it was balloons busting or a speaker had been popped.
“There were lots of ambulances. I saw somebody being treated. I couldn’t tell what had happened to him. A bang went off and everyone stopped and screamed… we basically hit the deck. It was bedlam… it was horrific.
“We got up when we thought it was safe and got out as quickly as possible. People were just crying and in tears… police cars were everywhere. We just wanted to get out as quickly as possible because we didn’t know what was going on.”
In a Facebook post, cited by CNN, the Greater Manchester Police wrote in a statement:
“Emergency services are currently responding to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured. Please AVOID the area as first responders work tirelessly at the scene. Details of a casualty bureau will follow as soon as available.”
Steven Charles Snooker Club bartender ‘Tyler’ told the Press Association,
“We’ve had a few people in with panic attacks and in all kinds of disarray. We’ve got four girls here – trying to get them sorted to get picked up. There was a gentleman on the floor with his leg all bleeding and woman with blood down one side of her face.
“We felt something but didn’t know what it was – there was a sound like thunder. One girl had a panic attack and another had streaming tears, a woman had a heart attack just outside.”
Mother Michelle Sullivan, who brought her young teen daughters to see the pop superstar, told the BBC,
“It was really scary. Just as the lights have gone down we heard a really loud explosion… Everybody screamed.
“When we got out they just said ‘keep on running, keep on running.’”
One video from outside the concert hall, posted to Twitter by user @KlayVolk, appeared to show authorities dragging someone from a vehicle and placing him under arrest, however, no further information was provided and it remains unclear whether the arrest could have been related to the explosion or something else, entirely.
This is a rapidly developing story and will be updated accordingly as information becomes available.