At least 22 people are dead and 59 injured after a bomb exploded outside the Manchester Arena on Monday night. At the end of an Ariana Grande concert, a sole bomber attacked the arena's foyer as fans and their families exited the building.
According to The New York Times, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which is the deadliest terrorist attack in the UK since the 2005 London bombings. Police believe a suicide bomber who died in the blast is to blame, but CNN reports that another 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester Tuesday morning in connection to the attack.
Grande had already left the stage when the explosion struck around 10:30 p.m. Chaos ensued as fans, many of whom were children and teenagers, ran through the building to safety. Large crowds left the arena in a panic, separating from their families and friends among a sea of pink balloons leftover from the concert.
One eyewitness, Nick Haywood, a father whose 16-year-old daughter attended the concert, explained the scene to BBC. "You could feel it, you could feel the noise. It was incredibly loud. My first thought was to find my daughter," he said. "People were already starting to filter out. You could tell something was wrong, no one was laughing or chatting. Some people were running, a bit of mild panic."
Haywood's daughter Caitlyn was near the front of the stage when the explosion happened. "As soon as Ariana Grande left, the lights went out and the bomb went off," she said. "That made me think that this person planned it so well."
According to The Telegraph, three of the victims' names have since been released: 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson. Several teenagers remain missing as desperate loved ones turn to social media to find them using the Twitter hashtag #MissingInManchester.
As condolences spread across social media, Grande issued a statement on Twitter Monday night. "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words," she wrote.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Greater Manchester Police Chief Ian Hopkins said in a statement, "This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one we all hoped we would never see. Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives."
According to Hopkins, the investigation is "fast-moving" with over 400 officers involved in the operation.