Singer Ariana Grande’s Manchester show ended with 19 fatalities and 50 incurring severe injuries upon what was seemingly a suicide-bomber attack. Infinitely many Mancunians and other UK blood-bathed survivors ran in fear as they barely eluded an explosion.
[Source: Twitter via The Daily Mail]
A night of entertainment in the 21,000-seat Manchester Arena suddenly flipped into a sea of teens, parents and others chaotically dispersing the venue. Simultaneously, armed police were seen encompassing the area as thrashed bodies were carried off the premises—i.e., a total “war zone.”
It was rumored a “nail bomb” was the cause, as witnesses recalled “nuts and bolts flying everywhere.” It was only the night before that local, law enforcement ran a test explosion at Cathedral Gardens upon discovering a would-be explosive mechanism.
The following array of photographs, footage and witness statements convey the severity, violence and brutality England just endured:
Show attendee Evie Brewster said, “Ariana Grande had just finished her last song and left the stage when a huge explosion sounded. Suddenly everybody started screaming and running for the exit. We could hear the police and ambulance sirens. It was terrifying. There were thousands of people trying to get out at once. They were all screaming and crying. The whole place smelt smokey and burnt. The explosion sounded like it was inside the building somewhere.”
[Upon a “loud bang,” chaos ensued. | Source: Twitter/HannahWWH via The Daily Mail]
Another attendee, Airdire (North Lanakshire)-local Abby Mullen said, “As we were leaving, a bomb or explosion went off centimeters in front of me. People’s skin and faces were everywhere—including in my hair and on my bag. I’m still finding bits of God knows what in my hair. You never ever expect these things to happen to you, but this proves it can happen to anybody. That sound, the blood and those who were running around clueless with body parts and bits of skin missing will not be leaving my mind any time soon or the minds of those involved.”
Manchester public-transit Victoria station (connected to the arena) was cleared of people—no trains are running.
Greater Manchester Police explained that “emergency services are currently responding to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured. Please AVOID the area, as first responders work tirelessly at the scene. Details of a casualty bureau will follow as soon as available.”
It was reported the bomb exploded inside the foyer of Manchester Arena—bomb squads rushed to the scene. According to the BBC, top counter-terror members gathered in London for an emergency conference.
Upon seeing Ariana Grande’s show, 24-year-old, Wirral-native Jonathan Yates said, “The concert had finished, and the lights came on almost instantly. There was a bang—a weird bang. There were lots of balloons, but I thought to myself ‘that can’t be a balloon; that’s not normal.’ We were sat on the floor level, and it came from the higher seats—people were running and screaming. Everyone stopped, and I turned to my friend and said, ‘We need to run.’ Everyone was running and screaming, and then when we got out, it felt a bit more OK. I heard five or six bangs that sounded like gunshots. When we got outside, people were outside, crying and on their phones. You don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen when you go…it was such a nice, fun concert.”
Mancunian and 28-year-old Nick Schurok said, “Ariana Grande had just finished the concert, and the lights came on. Everyone started leaving. I was on the floor; and at the back of the arena, people started exiting through the tunnels. There was a bang in the left tunnel, and everyone went to the middle tunnel. Then about two minutes later, there was another bang. The bang was so loud, and crowds of people were running. There were lots of children and families there.”
Attendee Jenny Brewster said, “We were exiting the building when it happened. We’d headed towards the main doors as Ariana was performing the last song, because we wanted to beat the crowds, but (as we made our way there) a wall of security men blocked it and told us to go the other way. Seconds later, they shouted ‘RUN!’ The explosion happened right behind them. Hundreds of people were running and screaming. Those men saved our lives.”
[Video Source: Twitter/@JSMcbrearty via The Daily Mail]
[Source: Twitter/@Zach_bruce via The Daily Mail]
Catherine Macfarlane said, “We were making our way out, and when we were right by the door, there was a massive explosion—everybody was screaming. It was a huge explosion—you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out of the area.”
Twenty-two-year-old Majid Khan: “I and my sister, along with a lot of others, were seeing Ariana Grande perform at Manchester Arena, and we were all exiting the venue when around 10:40-10:45pm-ish, a huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone, and we were all trying to flee the arena. 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 as they were trying to exit Trinity Way. That was blocked, so everyone was just running to any exit they could find as quickly as they could. Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off, so it was just extremely disturbing for everyone there.”
Twenty-two-year-old Laura: “There was a woman leaning against a car in the car park with her head down, covered in blood and a little girl being lifted away by paramedics. There were quite a few people injured in the car park.”
Laura’s friend, Livvy, 22, added, “We saw the explosion happen. Bits of it hit me. My first thought was, ‘that’s a bomb.’ It was just when we were leaving. We saw a flash of light and smoke. We’re really shaken up. If we had been there moment earlier, we would have been caught up in it rather than seeing it.”
[Video: courtesy of Twitter/@touchedher via The Daily Mail]
[Video: courtesy of Twitter/@alanbmufc92 via The Daily Mail]
[Video: courtesy of Twitter/@fperraudin via The Daily Mail]
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram posted this on social media: “My two daughters caught up in the Manchester explosion at the arena. They are thankfully safe, but I fear for others.” Rotheram followed up later: “Confirmed deaths at the Manchester arena. Feel sick to think that people have lost their lives at a gig attended by so many young people. All my thoughts go out to those parents waiting to hear of the safety of their children. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. So, so sad.”
Greater Manchester Police spokesman said, “Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available.”
British Transport Police weighed in with: “We are aware of an incident at Manchester Arena. We have officers at the scene and will provide further updates as soon as possible.”
Manchester Arena released this statement: “We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night. The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.”
Ariana Grande spokesman said Ms. Grande did not incur injuries from the explosion.
This was a most-horrific event—and to happen in such an unexpected country and area. Please refer here for many more photos, videos and accounts.