Saturday 22 July 2017

Manchester Arena bombing: Here's what we know so far

Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

HERE is what we know so far about the suspected terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.

* 22 people have died and 59 have been injured in the blast. A total of 60 ambulances attended the incident. Emergency services received 240 calls following the incident.

* The explosion rocked the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of a performance by the American star Ariana Grande.

* Greater Manchester Police said the male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated and officials are trying to determine whether he acted alone.

*A man (23) has been arrested in connection with the attack, Greater Manchester Police said.

* Many of the fans at the concert were young people. The blast sparked panic as thousands of people rushed for the exits, witnesses said.

Police stand by a cordoned off street close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Police stand by a cordoned off street close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Police corden off an area close to the Box Office entrance to the Manchester Arena. Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
A police officer stands outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
A police officer talks to locals outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Armed police officers stand outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Police and fans close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Emergency services at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Armed police at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

* Manchester Arena said the explosion happened outside the venue, as people began streaming from the doors.

* Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the venue at around 10.35pm and approach roads were closed.

* They blast is "being treated as a terrorist incident".

* Manchester Victoria station was evacuated and trains cancelled.

An injured woman is helped out of the Manchester Arena after last night’s blast at a gig by Ariana Grande, which left 19 dead
Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Police stand by a cordoned off street close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena after the explosion.
Concert goers wait to be picked up at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester
A tweet from U.S. singer Ariana Grande is seen as she makes her first comment since a bombing at her concert in Manchester
Armed police man roadblocks outside the arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. Photo: PA
A police officer escorts people near the Manchester Arena
Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People running down stairs as they attempt to exit the Manchester Arena after a blast
Police corden off an area close to the Box Office entrance to the Manchester Arena. Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Emergency services at the scene. Photo: PA
A police officer talks to locals outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Armed police officers stand outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
An armoured police Land Rover drives away from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
People sit by the side of the road next to a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Still image taken from video shows a street scene near Manchester Arena after the blast
Armed police block a road near to the Manchester Arena

* Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe and can hold 21,000 people.

* It is unclear where exactly the blast occurred, but initial reports indicated it happened either just outside the Manchester Arena or near a foyer.

* A "controlled explosion" was carried out by police at the Cathedral Gardens area near Manchester Arena shortly after 1.30am.

* The Prime Minister condemned what was being treated as an "appalling terrorist attack" and said she would chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday.

* Police said the suspicious item at the centre of the controlled explosion was just abandoned clothing.

* The victims are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

* Theresa May suspended her British General Election campaign following the news, while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron cancelled a campaign tour to Gibraltar.

*If discovered to be carried out by terrorists, it would become the worst atrocity in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

* Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

* Police are appealing for people to share their footage and images of the incident or the aftermath of the incident to a closed portal online, where they can begin an analysis for their investigation.

* What about the June 8 election? British PM May's ruling Conservative Party, which has a big lead in opinion polls, is preparing to suspend election campaigning due to the blast.

* No militant group has claimed responsibility so far but Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media. Twitter accounts affiliated to the militant Islamist group have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.

* The blast occurred on the anniversary of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, who was hacked to death on a London street on May 22, 2013 Rigby's gruesome murder gained international notoriety when Michael Adebolajo was filmed by passers-by standing in the street with blood-soaked hands trying to justify the attack.

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