22 dead in Manchester bomb attack
23 May 2017
A SUICIDE bomber has killed 22 people and injured 59 others during an attack at the Manchester Arena.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have confirmed that a single suicide bomber entered the foyer of the arena at 10:35pm on 23 May. The explosion took place as people were leaving the venue following a concert by US singer Ariana Grande. Many of the victims were children and police have confirmed that the perpetrator was also killed during the attack.
Prime minister Theresa May has temporarily suspended campaigning for the general election and held an emergency Cobra committee meeting. She confirmed that authorities know the identity of the attacker and are now working diligently to establish if he was working alone or was part of a wider network. The incident is the biggest terrorist attack to take place in the UK since the London bombings in 2005, which killed 52 people.
Ms May has will now travel to Manchester to meet with police chiefs and the Mayor or Manchester Andy Burnham. In a statement delivered outside Downing Street she said: “It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack. This is without doubt one of the worst terrorist incidents we’ve ever witnessed in the UK.”
Video footage has emerged of people inside the arena hearing the explosion and panicking to escape the venue despite calls for calm by the event organisers. Hundreds of police and ambulance staff quickly attended the scene and victims were transported to eight separate hospitals for treatment.
GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins said: “This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.
“Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones.
“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in this operation during the night.
“More than 240 calls came in and emergency services were very quickly on scene. Emergency numbers have been established for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who may not have returned home 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.
“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man. The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.
“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.”