Manchester remains a city in shock and mourning, following the night of May 22 when a terrorist attack executed by a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert left at least 22 dead and 59 people injured. Police confirmed a 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Children were among those killed and it is feared that the death toll will rise as medical services tend to the many injured, some of whom have life threatening injuries. Almost 60 people are being treated in eight hospitals in the Greater Manchester area.
Sixty ambulances rushed to the arena after the incident, which took place at 10:30 local time at the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena just after Ariana Grande finished her set and left the stage.
The first victim of the attack has been named: 16-year-old Georgina Callander, who died in the hospital following the blast. Prior to the concert, Callander tweeted, “So excited to see u tomorrow” at Ariana Grande. A friend of hers, Sophie Jauregui, tweeted a tribute to her this morning.
An emergency number has been set up and relatives have been using social media to search for missing relatives and children.
A Twitter account – which was unverified – posted these two tweets hours before the attack, warning of a terrorist strike.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the “callous terror attack, which targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.”
“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people but this attacks stands out for its appalling sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives,” the Prime Minister stated.
Shell shocked eyewitnesses in the immediate aftermath of last night’s attack told of hearing one and, according to some accounts, possibly two enormous explosions outside the arena complex as people were making their way out of the venue.
Chaos and confusion ensued with thousands of fans rushing to get out of the building, which is located close to the city centre and next to the Victoria Station rail terminal. Survivors spoke of seeing people covered in blood and people suffering horrific shrapnel-like injuries.
Following the terrorist incident — which is the worst to ever occur in the North of England and worst in the UK since the 2005 London bombings — extra police officers have been put on duty in London with the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, saying that “London stands united with the great city of Manchester today after this barbaric and sickening attack.”
A vigil will be held in Manchester city center on Tuesday, May 23, to remember those who died.