by Tolu Omoyeni
23-year-old multiple award winning American singer, Ariana Grande had just performed before thousands of her fans who packed the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena for one of the concerts in the UK leg of her world tour.
Concert goers were trooping out of the Arena when they heard two loud bangs from the foyer area around 10.30pm, according to Billboard Magazine‘s reports. The magazine described the foyer area as “connected to the Manchester Victoria station adjacent to the venue and contains the arena’s box office, as well as a McDonald’s.”
The explosion has left 22 dead including children, 59 injured and others missing.
Here are seven facts about the incidence:
- The explosion is suspected to be a terrorist attack. Manchester’s Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins told newsmen that a man who was also killed in the blast detonated an “improvised explosive device”. He added that the police are still trying to determine if the lone attacker was part of a wider network. The attack is being treated by the police as a terrorist incident until they gain information otherwise. Greater Manchester Police made this known in a tweet earlier today:
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
2. British Prime Minister, Theresa May reacted to the attack in a statement. She said, “We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack. All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected,…“, in a report by Guardian.
3. Ariana Grande was not hurt in the blast and in an immediate response to questions on her safety, her reps said she was “Okay”. Five hours later, Ariana tweeted a message, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words“.
4. TMZ reports that “Ariana Grande has indefinitely suspended her world tour in the wake of the terrorist bombing“. Grande was billed to perform in London on Thursday and hit the rest of Europe for more performances in Germany, Belgium, Poland and Switzerland. TMZ’s sources have confirmed that she is “not emotionally ready” and is “not concerned with shows right now“.
5. Campaigning for the forthcoming general election in the UK have been suspended until further notice. Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and been injured…I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night’s appalling events“.
6. There are suspicions that the terrorist may have used nail bombs in the attack. According to New York Times, nail bombs use shrapnel such as screws and razors in increasing their destructive capacity.
7. Families and friends are gathered in the six hospitals where the victims are being attended to. Mother of a 15 year old concert attendee told CNN that she spoke to her daughter at about 8.30pm and she seemed to be in high spirits. She has not heard from her daughter again since then. “We’ve phoned hospitals. We’ve phoned everywhere we can think. We’ve posted on every social network, and there’s nothing“.