MANCHESTER, May 23 – At least 19 killed and 50 injured in a suspected suicide bombing Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England, authorities said. Greater Manchester Police said the cause of the explosion is unknown but the North West Counter Terrorism Unit is treating it as a possible terrorist incident. He said there are a “number of confirmed fatalities and others injured”.
Multiple U.S. officials briefed on the investigation told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place at the foyer area of Manchester Arena on the southwest side, opposite the Manchester Victoria transit station, which is part of the greater arena complex. The explosion occurred as the concert ended at about 10:35 p.m. (5:35 p.m. ET), catching people as they exited.
Law enforcement sources in both Britain and the United States had previously told that there were at least 20 people were killed and that possibly “hundreds” of others were injured but that the information was preliminary and subject to change. U.S. officials said initial reports from the scene indicated that a number of the casualties might have been caused by a stampede of concert-goers. New York City counterterrorism police said they were monitoring developments.
“Ariana is okay. We are further investigating what happened,” a representative said. Likewise, Bianca Landrieu, the Boston hiphop star known as Bia, who also performed, tweeted: “Guys we are okay!!!” British Transport Police said officers were at the arena, which sits atop the Manchester Victoria transit station. All lines to Manchester Victoria were closed, National Rail said in a statement. Northern Railway said the station had been evacuated.
Ivo Delgado, who was attending the event, told NBC News that the concert had just ended when “I just heard a loud bang.” Delgado, who said he saw at least one person with blood on his face, said people started screaming and going to the other side of the arena. 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.