22 Confirmed Dead and over 50 Wounded by Explosion at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena Concert
We mourn with Manchester.
A night sure to be magic for U.K. #Arionators erupted into chaos and tragedy when 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb in the main foyer of Manchester Arena mere moments after the singer concluded “Dangerous Woman,” the final song of the night.
The air, electric with the excitement of concert-goers leaving the show turned thick with smoke and shrapnel, as Abedi exploded his crude nail bomb that killed both himself and at least 22 others. The fear following the blast was palpable, as confused attendees scrambled to flee the venue, unsure of the source of the explosion.
Joe Ryan, a college student from Manchester who attended the concert describes the hysteria, in:
“It came from outside near the main foyer, I think. I heard the sound and immediately saw everybody’s reactions of fear and panic. It didn’t seem real, and, initially, I had no idea how to react. I had no choice but to run with the hundreds of screaming parents, children and fans all heading toward the nearest exit. My head was filled with panic and terror, and my focus was on not losing my friend in the crowd. I was right behind him and made sure it stayed that way. I saw one woman’s shoe had come off, but she didn’t stop to go back for it, and I don’t blame her.”
After the deadly blast, police and emergency response teams from the greater Manchester area responded quickly and efficiently, shutting down nearby transit and shuttling the injured to medical facilities. There was an immediate response and outpouring of Mancunian support across Twitter, as #roomformanchester quickly started trending, with locals offering up food and lodging for those displaced by the detonation.
The early hours of Monday morning stretched thin with loved ones and parents trying to get in touch with their children, as the Ariana Grande fan base consists of mainly primary school children to those in their late teens/early 20s.
British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the act as an act of terrorism which was then solidified by the Islamic State claiming the act on the encrypted social messaging app, Telegram:
“One of the soldiers of the caliphate was able to place an explosive device within a gathering of the crusaders in the city of Manchester.”
Hours ago, May announced that the British government raised its terrorism threat level to the highest status of CRITICAL, meaning that another attack may be imminent.
Of the incident, Grande herself offered a simple, devastated statement:
“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words.”
The Hollywood community responded in kind, offering up prayers, support and love to the many victims of the senseless, vicious attack.
Tonight, the world stands with Manchester.