Manchester. A city thriving with culture, colour, and most importantly, heart was last night shaken to its foundations by an explosion that is being treated as a terrorist attack.
The incident occurred at around 10:30pm as Ariana Grande closed her set at the MEN Arena, one of the largest venues in the North West of England. As of right now there has been 22 confirmed dead and 59 injuries, among the dead is the first child to be identified as Georgina Callander, aged 16. There are thought to be many other children, like Georgina, believed to be amongst the dead. The lone attacker who died instantaneously is thought to have set off an improvised explosive device as people filtered out from the venue, an area that is being described as a “security soft spot” where merchandise is typically sold.
The area, including Manchester Victoria train station, which is linked to the venue, will remain closed at least for the remainder of today as police continue to carry evidence. Taxi drivers have been switching off their meters, hotels and people have slung open their doors, welcoming anybody stranded with a brew and a bed. The people of Manchester have really let their spirit shine through in the face of adversity and we’re sure they’ll continue to do so.
Ariana Grande has since made a statement on twitter saying that she is understandably “Broken” and has suspended her current world tour. More information related to that is yet to come.
broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
GIGsoup’s Henry Calvert spoke to 21 year old Marky Williams from Blackpool…
“Never in my life have i been so horrified, i was leaving just before she finished the last song to head for the doors leading to the exit going against the crowd, i was looking and pointing at the doors to tell my friend that we will leave through that way, when i saw the doors completely blow off and a huge cloud of ash pours on everybody infront of me. Even 5 seconds closer and it would have been me. I can not describe in words what it felt like to watch those girls faces as it all happened. They just wanted to see their favourite pop star and have a good time. They were just kids man…How could someone do this? Beyond Horrifying.”
And to gain an idea of how young the crowd were at last nights event 15 year old Chloe from Greater Manchester said…
“Ariana was just finishing so we decided to leave before it got busy, when we left we went the wrong way fortunately because we was meant to meet our lift in the ticket box area, when we was leaving we heard a massive bang and ran with the crowd, nobody knew what was going on but walking around there was loads of police and people crying and fainted on the sides of the roads”
Greater Manchester Police have set up an emergency telephone number for families and friends who may have concerns their loved ones are caught up in this attack: 0161 856 9400
Since the initial attack was reported last night people from all over the industry have been pouring their hearts out on social media:
Peter Hook’s daughter was in that crowd, much like many thousands of other people’s children. Luckily she’s home safe and sound.
My daughter made it home safe from Ariana Grande last night. My heart goes out to all parents & those involved. Manchester stay strong. X