At least nineteen people have been killed and more than 50 people were injured after a couple of explosions went off at Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester Arena on Monday. Initial findings reveal a suicide bomber was behind the "terrorist incident".
If the attack was indeed an act of terrorism, it would be the deadliest attack in the UK since the 7/7 bombings. The 7 July 2005 terrorist attack in London involved four suicide bombers that killed 52 people.
Most of the casualties were children and teenage girls. Reporters from six hospitals across Greater Manchester say the victims were being treated for '"shrapnel-like injuries". According to CBS News, the explosions went off after Ariana Grande's last song. One fan said she was just 40ft behind the explosion area. She thought it was just a popped balloon but she heard another explosion.
Another concertgoer said there was smoke everywhere and everyone was trying to leave the concert grounds. There was also blood on the walls. She added there was a complete chaos and nobody was organizing the people to do anything.
In an interview with BBC, eyewitness Andy Holey said the explosion was very strong that he was thrown "30 feet in the air."
Grand Manchester Police officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber with a backpack bomb. Media news outlets reported the authorities already identified the suspect, but as of now, no name was released.
There were also reports that Islamic State was responsible for the attack. According to Reuters, Twitter accounts connected to ISS described the Manchester blast as an act of revenge in response to air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
As of now, a large area around the Manchester Arena has been cordoned off. Also, Victoria station has been closed and trains services were canceled. To help people ferry out of the area, buses and some local taxi companies are offering free rides.
Joseph Carozza, a representative of Ariana Grande's U.S. record, said the 23-year old American singer is okay. The pop star also posted a message on Twitter saying she is "broken" and "don't have words" for the incident.
Stay tuned with Gospel Herald for more update. Use hashtags #Manchester and #Ariana to know the latest developments.