Isis claim responsibility for the attack
Cai Trefor
23:04 22nd May 2017

22 people have been killed and around 59 injured following a bomb at Manchester Arena moments after Ariana Grande finished her gig.

The explosion happened at 10.33pm in the foyer on Monday (22 May) at the 21,000 capacity venue, which is where people gather, buy merchandise and prepare to travel home.

It was being treated as a "possible terrorist attack" by foreign affaris correspondent Daniel Sandford on the BBC and by the police who confirmed the numbers dead in a press release. Two U.S.officials have told Reuters that it is a suspected suicide bomber.

According to NBC News, the US officials were briefed by British authorities that forensic evidence at the scene — including a body found at the blast site — indicated a suicide attack.

Today (23 May) it has been revealed that Isis has claimed responsibility for the Manchester Arena attack, hailing the bomber as a "soldier of the caliphate". The terrorist group released a statement in Arabic through its central media body, The Independent reports. 

Of the incident, Karen Ford, who spoke with the BBC, she heard one "very very loud" explosion and her husband heard a second when he was stood outside. Many panic striken gig goers understandably ran for their lives with some getting injured in the panicked crush. NBC also believes the stampede caused some deaths

Those affected are largely young kids as Twitter has shown pictures of children and teenagers missing with friends crying out desperately for help.

Some of those injured have been very severely hurt as Guardian journalist Helen Pidd is at the hospital that has signs outside indicating the overwhelming and shocking impact. Staff have told her that small children are among the injured and she spoke to a 17 year old girl whose grandfather was in the MRI after being hit by falling glass in the tunnel by the merch stand underneath the seats.

Another Pidd spoke to in the early hours of Tuesday (23 May) was a 17-year-old girl going from hospital to hospital to try to find her mum, not seen since the blast at Manchester arena.

 


Shortly after the bomb at the arena, a controlled explosion happened in Cathedral Gardens - just down the road - to destroy a suspect device. It occurred as the BBC were broadcasting a report. The suspected material has ended up being loose clothing and the explosion was a precautionary measure.

The whole incident initially sparked confusion with many - rather optimistically - hoping early reports of loud bangs were stage apparatus problem or some of the balloons next to microphones. But the explosion was severe and one eyewitness spoke to the BBC about getting thrown 30 feet to the BBC.

Ariana Grande herself wasn't near the blast and is safe. However, sources close to TMZ ahve said she is inconsolable and "in hysterics." Her upcoming concert at the 02 Arena in London is understandably up in the air.

 

 

This page has been published on 22 May but updated throughout the 23 May as official sources confirmed the sequence of events.