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Monday, September 27, 2021

Manchester blast LIVE updates: Death toll rises to 22, attacker killed while detonating IED, say UK police

Manchester terror attack LIVE updates: The priority for the Greater Manchester Police is to determine whether the terrorist acted alone or is part of a network.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 23, 2017 2:29:36 pm
Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom Manchester Arena terror blast: At least 19 people have been killed at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

A lone male suicide attacker targeted a young audience at the Manchester Arena in the United Kingom on Tuesday morning, killing at least 22 people and injuring 59. In what the British police have called an act of terror, the attacker detonated an IED moments shortly after American pop singer Ariana Grande performed for nearly 20,000 people. While the terrorist is said to have died in the Arena, authorities are trying to determine whether he acted alone or was part of a network. The attack comes two and a half weeks ahead of the UK snap polls called by Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Manchester terror attack LIVE updates:

2.10 pm:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the incident “will only strengthen our resolve to…work together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhumane deeds.”

2.00 pm:  England’s official blood service Twitter handle says it has received all the blood required for hospital patients at the present time.

Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom A youngster wearing a t-shirt showing U.S. singer Ariana Grande talks to the media near the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

1.50 pm: US President Donald Trump extends his condolences to those affected by the terrorist attack. “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil, losers in life,” he said. “I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. I will call them losers from now on. And we’ll have more of them.”

1.45 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin says in a statement, “We strongly condemn this cynical, inhumane crime. We hope that its masterminds will not escape the punishment they deserve.” Putin added that Russia is ready to step up cooperation with the UK in combating terrorism.

1.40 pm: Football clubs Manchester United and Manchester City condemn the attack.

The official United handle tweets, “We are deeply shocked by last night’s terrible events at the Manchester Arena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.”

City tweets, “It’s with great sadness we hear of the terrible events at the Arena. Our hearts go out to all affected and to our city’s emergency services.”

12.23 pm: The police are now working with the National Counter Terrorist Policing Network and the UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who attacked the Manchester theatre. Authorities have requested the public not to speculate on his details or to share names.

Read: Blast at Ariana Grande concert unites Twitterati; offer prayers, help for those affected

12.20 pm: Hopkins says that as this is a fast-moving investigation, significant resources have been deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the Manchester Arena attack. More than 400 officers have been involved during the night.

12.15 pm: This is the latest statement released by the Greater Manchester Police. Hopkins described the events of Monday night as the ‘most horrific incident’ in Greater Manchester, one that ‘we all hoped we would never see.’

12.00 pm: Recently-elected French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to call the UK Prime Minister and be briefed on the situation. Condemning the attack, Macron says France will work with the UK to fight terrorism.

11.47 am: Hopkins says terrorists will attempt to ‘disrupt our lives’ and says it is important to remain vigilant but go about daily lives. He added that the public should report suspicious activity to the force’s anti-terror hotline – 0800 789 321.

Read: This unverified Twitter account ‘predicted’ the attack 4 hours BEFORE it happened

11.45 am: The British police believe the attacker died inside the Arena while detonating an improvised explosive device (IED). Authorities are trying to establish whether he was acting alone. The death toll has risen to 22, while there are 59 people injured, including many children.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity,” Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

11.37 am:  Olivia Campbell, one of the concert-goers is missing and without a phone to contact her parents. Her photo is being widely circulated on social media portals.

11.35 am:  The toll has risen to 22 now, AFP reports. The attacker, believed to be a lone male, is said to have died while detonating an IED, according to the British police.

11.30 am: The person who is thought to have carried out the attack appears to be among the dead, reports BBC.

11.27 am:  Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore says he is ‘appalled’ and ‘shocked’ by the attack in Manchester. “All the nations of the world must unite against terror in all forms, worldwide,” he adds.

11.25 am: Transportation services have been amended in and around Manchester, due to which the Greater Manchester Transport authorities have cautioned people to check with the local bus, rail and tram operators before travelling on Tuesday morning.

11.15 am: The High Commission of India in the UK has tweeted helpline numbers for any Indians injured during the Manchester Arena explosion. The number is 020 7632 3035.

10.44 am: Concert-goers are piecing together the scene following the blast that took place at the foyer of the Manchester United. Jenny Brewster says she was leaving the concert with her 11-year-old daughter when there was a loud noise and she was told to run. She says she could smell the burning as she ushered her daughter out of the venue.

Majid Khan, 22, says everyone, from the side of the arena where the blast occurred, started running in the direction of the exit. “We were all trying to flee,” he adds.

Catherine Macfarlane, another witness told Reuters, “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.”

10.45 am: Vice President Hamid Ansari has expressed solidarity with the people of the UK following the Manchester Arena attack. “I am shocked to learn of the loss of life and injuries to innocent civilians in an explosion at a music concert in Manchester, UK. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this incident. The people of India stand in solidarity with the people of UK in this difficult time,” he said.

10.35 am: The Manchester Arena explosion was ‘likely’ carried out by a suicide bomber, a US officials tells CNN. The source adds that a male at the scene has been identified as the probable bomber.

10.31 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi strongly condemns the attack in Manchester. “Absolutely shocked and saddened by the loss of lives and suffering caused by the senseless violence,” he tweets.

10.30 am:  The Japanese government has condemned the attack as well. Yoshihide Suga, the government’s chief cabinet secretary, said, “If this is a terrorist attack, such abhorrent acts of terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, and Japan firmly condemns such an act of terrorism. I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of the deceased and my prayers to a swift recovery for the wounded. Japan stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.”

10.20 am:  Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the attack on Tuesday, He said, “This incident, this attack, is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers. This is an attack on innocents. Surely there is no crime more reprehensible than the murder of children. This is a direct and brutal attack on young people everywhere, on freedom everywhere.” He said authorities are working to see whether any of the victims was Australian.

10.10 am: The British Transport police will deploy additional officers on trains and at all stations on Tuesday. Extra officers have been deployed on duty as the country heightens security following the Manchester Arena explosion.

“As the public would expect in response to an incident such as this, extra BTP officers will be on patrol at key railway stations as well as on trains around the country. Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey. This will include both armed and unarmed officers,” BPT said in a statement.

10.05 am:  The Greater Manchester Police has said that anyone who needs help or assistance can visit the Etihad Stadium access Gate 11.

10.02 am: Gurudwaras in Manchester have opened their door, and are offering free food and shelter to those who have been affected by the explosion, as well as others. Harjinder S Kukreja, a local restaurateur, listed Gurudwaras that are open for ‘ALL’ people on Twitter.

10.00 am: There are several reports of frantic parents trying to get in touch with their children, who had attended the Ariana Grande concert. Many are taking to social media to search for their loved ones.

“Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn’t answering her phone, pls help me,” read one message, which had alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair, reports Reuters.

Another passerby, 48-year-old Robinson, who felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls scrambling away from the venue, escorted them to a nearby Holiday Inn. She has tweeted out her phone number for worried parents to be able to pick up their children. “Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children,” she told Reuters. “There were lots of lots children at Holiday Inn.”

9.55 am: “Offer condolences to families of those who lost loved ones; world must come together as one to fight terrorism, says Congress president Sonia Gandhi, reports ANI.

9.50 am: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweets, “Shocked & dismayed at the #Manchester terror attack, time for a global action plan to deal with terrorism.”

9.45 am: Here’s a map locating the Manchester Arena in the English city of Manchester.

Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom Map locating Manchester Arena in the English city of Manchester where a blast killed at least 19 people and injured dozens. (Reuters Photo)

9.35 am: Not just UK Prime Minister Theresa May, other political leaders have suspended campaigning in light of the Manchester Arena explosion. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said he has suspended all national campaigning in light of Monday night’s incident.

Read: What is the Manchester Arena?

9.30 am: This isn’t the first time a concert venue has been a terrorism target. If you remember, gunmen opened fire at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015, during a performance by the Eagles of Death Metal band. Nearly 90 people were killed in the attack.

9.24 am: Authorities in New York, US, have beefed up security at sensitive areas following the explosion at the Manchester Arena. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered additional patrols at ‘high-profile locations’, including airports and the subway.

“This apparent act of terrorism, targeting a concert attended by thousands of teenagers and young people, is an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings,” Cuomo said in a statement, reported AFP. “An attack on one is an attack on all, and New York stands in solidarity with the British people and our friends around the world against the forces of hate and terror.”

9.18 am: President Pranab Mukherjee says India stands by the Government and people of UK in this hour of distress. “Shocked to hear of Manchester blast; condolences to families of deceased & prayers for injured,” he adds.

Watch: Videos by concert-goers reveal horror and panic at the Manchester Arena

9.12 am: British politician Nigel Farange says he is ‘horrified’ by the attack directed at children. In a series of tweets he says, “Horrified at the bombing in Manchester. No doubt we will find out who the perpetrator is soon. My thoughts are with those affected. The Manchester terrorist attack was directed at children. It’s going to be a very big shock for the UK.”

9.10 am: Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh tweets in response to the Manchester explosion, “Terror knows no boundaries,no race,no nation. Terror is terror is terror. World will have to come together to defeat this menace.”

9.00 am:  Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), says, “Heartbreaking news from Manchester. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones or been injured in this barbaric attack.” The SNP, Scotland’s largest political party, has postponed its manifesto launch, which was scheduled on Tuesday. “Our thoughts are with Manchester,” SNP’s official twitter handle said. The manifesto is regarding the general election on June 8.

Read: Priyanka Chopra joins other celebs to talk of love, prayers after blast at Ariana Grande concert

8.55 am: Fellow musicians are offering support to Grande and the victims of the Manchester explosion. American pop singer Taylor Swift tweeted, “My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I’m sending all my love.”

Separately, English singer and song-writer Ellie Goulding said, “Sending love to those affected in Manchester.”

8.46 am: The US Department of Homeland Security issues a statement saying it’s closely monitoring the situation at the Manchester Arena, reports The Guardian.

“We are working with our foreign counterparts to obtain additional information about the cause of the reported explosion as well as the extent of injuries and fatalities.

“US citizens in the area should heed direction from local authorities and maintain security awareness. We encourage any affected US citizens who need assistance to contact the US embassy in London and follow department of state guidance.

“At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States. However, the public may experience increased security in and around public places and events as officials take additional precautions.

“We stand ready to assist our friends and allies in the UK in all ways necessary as they investigate and recover from this incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this incident.”

8.44 am:  Scooter Braun, Grande’s manager, says, “Tonight, our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack.”

8.40 am: London Mayor Sadiq Khan says London stands with Manchester. In a tweet, he says, “Our thoughts are with all those killed and injured tonight and our brave emergency services.”

8.34 am: Ariana Grande says she is ‘broken’. “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words,” the 23-year-old said.

8.24 am: In the wake of the bomb explosion at the Manchester Arena, residents have come out in support of the concert-going, many of whom are believed to be young teenagers, be offering transportation and lodging facilities. The Victoria train station, the closest to the venue, was closed after the attack and is expected to remain shut for the rest of the day. As many as 20,000 people attended American pop singer Ariana Grande’s concert on Monday night. The hashtag ‘#roomformanchester’, is being used on social media to help stranded people. Read more here.

8.13 am: UK Prime Minister Theresa May has suspended her General Election campaign, following the attack, reports BBC. The incident is likely the worst terror attack since the 2005 London bombing, that killed over 50 people including the perpetrators.

Read: Terror attacks in Europe — from Brussels to Manchester Arena

8.00 am: “Ariana is OK. We are further investigating what happened,” Joseph Carozza, Grande’s publicist with Republic Records, told the LA Times.

Read: PM Narendra Modi condemns the attack, says thoughts with families of the killed

7.58 am: Universal Music Group, the umbrella group for Republic Records, said in a statement on Facebook, “We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight’s devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.” Grande is signed under Republic Records.

7.54 am: This is the latest statement put out by the GM police.

7.51 am: The GM police have released a statement saying around 50 people, who were injured in the attack, are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester. Officers from the police and emergency services are working at the scene and supporting those affected. Operations are being coordinated at the Manchester police headquarters. “We are working closely with the national counter terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners,” Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, CC Ian Hopkins, said in a press conference.

Read: Who is Ariana Grande?

7.49 am: Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman Tour’ began in Phoenix in February. Following the Manchester gig, she was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, and following that, concerts in Latin America and Asia.

7.42 am:  UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has described the fatal explosion as a ‘barbaric act’. In a statement, she said, “The full details of exactly what happened are still emerging, but I am proud of the police and first responders who reacted to this tragic incident so swiftly.”

7.40 am: The GM police have set up an emergency helpline for those concerned about their loved ones or anyone who may have been in the vicinity. The local helpline number is 0161 856 9400.

7.34 am: This is the front page of the Manchester Evening News on Tuesday.

Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom Armed police officers stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, in northern England, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

7.32 am: UK Prime Minster Theresa May is expected to chair an emergency Cobra meeting at Downing Street at around 9.00 am (local time). She had previously described the incident as an ‘appalling terrorist attack’, reports BBC.

7.26 am: Many people from the music fraternity are taking to social media to condemn the tragic event in Britain. Rapper Nicki Minaj says, “My heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I’m so sorry to hear this.”

“Broken hearted for the families tonight. Broken hearted for Ari. Broken hearted for the state of this world,” American singer and songwriter Katy Perry tweeted.

7.17 am: The management of Manchester Arena, where the Ariana Grande’s concert was held, has released a statement confirmed an incident during the show on Monday night. “The incident took place outside the venue outside the venue in a public space,” the management said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.” Over one million people visit the arena annually.

In pictures: At least 19 dead, 50 injured as explosion rocks singer Ariana Grande’s concert in UK

7.15 am: United States Speaker Paul Ryan tweets following the attack, “Young and innocent lives lost in #Manchester tonight. Praying for the victims and their families.” He is one of the many US politicians who have responded to the attack.

7.12 am: Witnesses reported seeing nuts and bolts at the scene following the blast. According to BBC reporters they are similar to shrapnel, and are sometimes built into the bomb to increase the force of the blast. Separately, sources have told BBC that the attack was possibly carried out by a suicide bomber. We are awaiting official confirmation from the Greater Manchester Police.

7.10 am: The North West Ambulance Services is working to help people affected in the attack. They have asked people not to call in unless its a ‘life saving’ emergency. The Manchester fire services has also released a statement saying it is helping the police and ambulance services.

7.00 am: Washington Post posts a video of people screaming and fleeing the venue, moments after the explosion.

Read: What we know so far

6.59 am: Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, says his thoughts are with all those affected, and UK’s emergency services. Taking to Twitter, he said, “Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.”

6.57 am:  The Greater Manchester Police says emergency services are still working at the scene of the incident. It has asked the public to stay clear of the Manchester Arena.

6.55 am: British Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to the attack, paying tribute to the victims and families of those involved in “what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack”, reports BBC.

“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” she said in a statement.

Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday, May 22, 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

6.53 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets condemning the attack. “Pained by the attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured,” he said.

6.51 am:  Lucy Maria Powell, a British Labour and Co-operative politician and parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, tweets, “Our great city will, as we have in the past, come together and unite in solidarity. We support all the families and each other #Manchester.”

“I’ve spoken w @AndyBurnhamGM This is a major incident targeted at our city. Our hearts go out to all & our gratitude to emergency services,” she added, “All our thoughts are with family and friends and those caught up in this incident. Enormous thanks to our emergency services.”

6.47 am: Parents are posting pictures of their children, a lot of whom were young teenagers, on social media asking for confirmation that they are safe, reports BBC. Witnesses at the scene have said that after the ‘loud bang’ inside the venue, there was mass panic as people tried to leave.

6.43 am: City councillor Pat Karney has told BBC Radio 5 live that the arena was “a very easy target”. He also took to Twitter saying that there are conflicting reports, rumours and counter rumours being circulated. “The only true information is from GMP,” he said.

Manchester Arena blast, terrorist attack, Ariana Grande concert, Ariana Grande, United Kingdom Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Karney says the area is still sealed off, while police are investigating all parts of the site. Council emergency staff are at the scene.

6.36 am: Britain has declared it is on its second-highest alert level of “severe”, meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely, reports news agency Reuters. Facebook has activated its ‘Safety Check’, which allows users to inform their followers that they have not been harmed in the attack.

6.35 am: A spokesman for Ariana Grande has said that the singer is ‘okay’.

6.33 am: The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Mayor Andy Burnham, tweets saying it’s been a ‘terrible night for our great city’. “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,” he said. “Things are ongoing @gmpolice keeping me updated pls follow them for latest and look after yourself and those around you tonight…” he added.

6.32 am: Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe which was opened in 1995. A popular concert and sporting venue, it has a capacity of over 20,000 people. Ariana Grande, 23, is currently touring the world on her ‘Dangerous Woman Tour’.

6.31 am: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has tweeted in support of victims of the attack. “Tonight, #Paris stands with #Manchester. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.”

6.30 am: The police are carrying out a controlled explosion on an item of clothing at the Cathedral gardens shortly and have asked residents not to be concerned if they hear anything. “There will be a controlled explosion in Cathedral gardens shortly if you hearing anything don’t be concerned.”

6.25 am: The GM Police has tweeted a statement on the attack.

6.20 am: The Greater Manchester Police have confirmed a blast was reported during American pop singer Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena at 10.35 pm (local time) on Monday. So far 19 people are confirmed dead while around 50 0thers are injured. The police are currently treating this as a ‘terrorist’ incident.

(With inputs from agencies)

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