At least 19 people were killed and about 50 others were injured in what British Prime Minister Theresa May called “an appalling suicide attack” after an Ariana Grande concert Monday night at Manchester Arena in England, authorities said.
Greater Manchester Police said the incident was being treated as terrorism. A senior White House official told NBC News that President Donald Trump, who is on a visit to Jerusalem, had been briefed.
Police said the explosion took place outside the arena, which is near the Manchester Victoria transit station, as the concert ended at about 10:35 p.m. local time (5:35 p.m. ET), catching people as they exited.
Ian Hopkins, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police, said investigators were coordinating with British intelligence.
“This is clearly a very concerning time for everyone,” he said at a brief news conference early Tuesday.
Multiple senior U.S. law enforcement officials briefed by British authorities told NBC News that forensic evidence at the scene — including a body found at the blast site — indicated a suicide attack. U.S. officials said initial reports indicated that some of the casualties might have been caused by a stampede of concert-goers.
“My thoughts are with the victims and the families of those affected,” May said in a brief statement, noting that police are handling the explosion as “an appalling terrorist attack.”
A representative said Ariana Grande, who has millions of young fans around the world, was not hurt. Likewise, Bianca Landrau, the Boston hip-hop star known as Bia, who also performed, tweeted: “Guys we are okay!!!”
All lines to Manchester Victoria station were closed, National Rail said in a statement. Northern Railway said the station had been evacuated.
Ivo Delgado, who attended the event, told NBC News that the concert had just ended when “I just heard a loud bang.”
“People started screaming and going to the other side of the arena,” said Delgado, who said he saw at least one person with blood on his face.
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, tweeted that his two daughters had been in attendance and were safe.
“But I fear for others,” he said.
Manchester Arena, which opened in 1995, is one of the largest indoor arenas in Europe. More than 1 million people fill its 21,000 seats every year.
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Categories: World News