Ariana Grande’s “The Dangerous Woman Tour” at Manchester Arena on Monday was supposed to be a fun night for the singer and her fans but a bombing attack turned the magical night into a nightmare.
Just after the concert, a strong explosion engulfed the concert hall as a “nail-bomb near the exit” explodes. Fans leapt over barriers and chairs as they fled through the stadium exit, fear-stricken and covered in blood. Dead bodies and the injured were scattered in the area between the arena and the Victoria station.
An unexpected turn of events
Police responded shortly at 10:35pm after receiving reports of an explosion.
“We then received more than 240 calls and emergency services responded very quickly to the scene. Emergency numbers have been established for anyone who is concerned for their loved ones who may not have returned home, these numbers are 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.”
More than 400 officers were deployed overnight in the northern city. Police cars, a bomb disposal unit, and 60 ambulances raced to the aftermath of the bombing. Manchester Police instructed the people to stay away while armed officers surrounded the venue.
Greater Manchester Police Chief constable Ian Hopkins treated the bombing as a terrorist attack and suspected that the suicide bomber died in detonating the bomb. Police raised the death toll; 22 people were confirmed dead and 59 were seriously injured while others are still missing.
There was blood, everything is in chaos
Witnesses, as well as concert-goers, described the chaos after the bomb went off shortly after the concert finished.
Videos were posted on social media, fans screaming and running out of the venue. A child was spotted clutching a balloon with a foil wrap around her shoulders. Two women are seen wrapped in a thermal blanket, standing near the chaotic arena. A father was carrying his daughter away from the concert venue.
“Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children,” Paula Robinson, a witness at the nearby train station. Together with her husband, they took the victims to a nearby hotel and contacted the worried parents of the teenagers.
“As we were leaving a bomb or explosion went off centimeters in front of me,” witness Abby Mullen who left the event earlier than the rest described the carnage. “People’s skin and feces were everywhere including in my hair and on my bag. I’m still finding bits of God knows what in my hair. You never ever expect these things to happen to you but this proves it can happen to anybody. That sound, the blood and those who were running around clueless with body parts and bits of skin missing will not be leaving my mind anytime soon or the minds of those involved.”
“The concert had finished and the lights came on almost instantly. There was a bang, a weird bang. There were lots of balloons but I thought to myself that can’t be a balloon, that’s not normal,” Jonathan Yates from Wirral narrated. “We were sat on the floor level and it came from the higher seats, people were running and screaming. Everyone stopped and I turned to my friend and said ‘we need to run’. Everyone was running and screaming and then when we got out it felt a bit more OK. I heard five or six bangs that sounded like gunshots. When we got outside people were outside, crying and on their phones. You don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen when you go… it was such a nice, fun concert.”
Survivors were escorted to six hospitals around Great Manchester.
Election campaigns were stalled
The election campaign for June 8 general election was halted. Following the horrendous events in Manchester, UK politicians agreed to suspend the campaigns until further notice.
The home secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “My thoughts are with all those affected by this barbaric act. 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.”
“The most cowardly form of terrorism has struck once again, targeting – as in Paris more than a year ago – a concert venue,” French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said in a statement after advising French citizens to be vigilant. “I call on my fellow citizens to observe the utmost vigilance, confronted as we are with a threat which is more present than ever before.”
“This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert. My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news. I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the emergency services. This is an attack on innocent people and the nation is united both in its grief and its determination to stand up to this deplorable attack,” Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said.
Everyone is brokenhearted
The American pop star who escaped unhurt updated her social media account expressing her remorse. Celebrities also reacted to the Monday night’s attack and extended their thoughts and prayers to the people involved.
People leave tribute and lighted candles by the City Hall in Manchester for the victims of the terror attack.
The police are still finding out the person behind the attack and the search for the missing people is still ongoing.