Nineteen people have been killed in a suspected explosion following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, with police treating it as a “terrorist incident”.
About 59 survivors are in hospital after at least one explosion reportedly struck the foyer of the English stadium about 10.33pm yesterday local time (7.33am today AEST), when the pop star had finished performing and concertgoers were leaving.
If confirmed as a terror attack, it will rank as the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in July 2005.
British Transport Police said the blast occurred “within the foyer area of the stadium” and the venue said it was “outside the venue in a public space”.
Witnesses have described a “huge bomb-like bang” followed by scenes of panic as young fans rushed out and waiting parents looked for their children.
At least two parents were injured by the explosion, with one saying he had been hit by shrapnel in his leg and the other feeling “heat on my neck”.
Video filmed in the arena’s auditorium appears to show fans hearing the blast and running in panic.
The arena’s foyer connects the 21,000-capacity auditorium with Victoria train and tram station, a major hub on the northern edge of the city centre.
He said he struggled to find his wife and daughter and looked at bodies on the ground to try and find them.
“Luckily they weren’t there, I managed to find them outside the arena and got them back to the hotel,” Andy said.