Suspected terror attack kills 22, injures over 50 in Manchester

By Chris Peterson in London(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2017-05-23 06:54:33

Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

At least 22 people were killed, some of them children, and over 50 injured in what UK Prime Minister Theresa May said was being treated by police as a major terrorist attack on a pop concert in Britain's second city of Manchester.

An explosion came at Manchester Arena, in the center of the city, as US pop star Ariana Grande finished a sell-out show attended by many young teenagers and their parents.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkinson told reporters: "I can confirm there are children amongst the dead. We believe it was one man, acting alone, who used an improvised explosive device. We believe he is amongst the dead."

In London, police said extra armed police would be on the streets of the capital as a precaution.

Eyewitnesses in Manchester spoke of bodies strewn on the ground, covered in blood.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, although social media sites and websites linked to the extremist Islamic State group were full of messages praising the attack, the Daily Telegraph reported.

May and other political leaders cancelled general election campaigning ahead of the June 8 vote as key ministers and security experts gathered in London for an emergency meeting.

"We are working to establish the full details" of what had happened in Manchester, May told the BBC.

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," she said.

Recently elected Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was "an act of evil. It has been a very dark night. Manchester people will come together. We will not let this divide us."

The BBC said a number of people and local hotels had offered temporary accommodation for concertgoers.

Swarms of emergency services at Manchesters MEN Arena and Piccadilly Station after an explosion, March 23, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Eyewitness Andy Holey, waiting to pick up his wife and daughter, said: "As I was waiting, an explosion went off and it threw me about 30 feet from one set of doors to the other set of doors.

"When I got up I saw bodies lying on the ground. My first thought was to go into the arena to try to find my family.

"It was definitely an explosion and it was some force. It happened near the box office at the entrance to the arena."

Manchester Arena can hold up to 18,000 people. It is regularly used to stage concerts and Grande, a 23-year-old reality TV star, is part way through a UK tour. Her management said she was not injured in the blast, which came just after she finished her last song.

She sent out a message on Twitter to say she was "broken" by the blast and the deaths. "I have no words," she said.

Her fans are mainly young teen and pre-teenage girls, many of whom were at last night's concert.

Pictures on social media and news websites showed teenage girls, some wrapped in blankets, others bloodied and bandaged, being helped by emergency medical teams.

Police closed off central Manchester and the main railway station, near the arena, was closed and train services suspended.

To contact the reporter: chris@mail.chinadailyuk.com

 

Riot police officers are seen outside the Manchester Arena. [Photo/VCG]

Ambulences and police vans are seen outside the Manchester Arena. [Photo/VCG]

A police van and an ambulance are seen outside the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain May 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

 

Police set up a cordon outside the Manchester Arena in northern England where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena in northern England where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Union flags stand at half-mast on the roof of 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, May 23, 2017.  [Photo/Agencies]

A man photographs a sign in Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. 

 

A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017.   [Photo/Agencies]

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.