- A powerful blast ripped through a crowded arena hosting US star Ariana Grande's pop concert in the English city of Manchester
- 19 people have been killed and over 50 injured in one of the deadliest terror attacks in the UK.
- Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
In a statement released by the Greater Manchester Police, it was said, "police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. So far 19 people have been confirmed dead with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise."
According to eyewitnesses, a loud bang was heard from inside the venue. Video footages that followed showed bloodied images of victims running to safety. Some of them being helped by emergency services. A witness said, "It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us."
Children and teenagers were feared among the dead because of the very young demographic of the pop star's fans, with desperate parents and relatives waiting for the news of loved ones after the blast struck the Manchester Arena last night.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack". She said her thoughts were with the victims and families of those affected in "what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack".
May said the government was working to establish the full details of the incident. Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. British Transport Police said the explosion occurred in the foyer area of Manchester Arena that has a capacity of 21,000.
Greater Manchester Police also carried out a "controlled explosion" in theCathedral Gardens area near the Manchester Arena, but have since confirmed the item they found was abandoned clothing and not dangerous. Armed police lined the streets outside the arena with officers moving members of the public away and bomb disposal units at the site of the blast.
Reacting to the incident, Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, "Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services."
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said, "My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services. A terrible night for our great city."
In a recent update from various media reports, it is being said that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the blast and has also threatened security officials with more such Manchester mishaps.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:31 PM IST