Manchester suicide bombing death toll rises to 22, many reported missing, Ariana Grande speaks
Yesterday, an explosion went off at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK, which police are treating as a “terrorist incident” and which is expected to have been a suicide bombing. Since our first post, the death toll rose from 19 to 22. 59 others were injured and taken to hospitals (at least 12 of which were children under age 16).
Update: The bomber is suspected to be 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who British authorities had previously been aware of. They are trying to determine if he was “acting alone or working as part of a wider network.”
Also, a 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the bombing, though the suspect’s name is still being withheld.
Ariana Grande spoke after the incident, tweeting, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” TMZ reports that her London show this Thursday (5/25) is cancelled and the rest of her tour is suspended indefinitely.
As The Guardian reports, the first victims of the attack have been named as 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos. Parents of other concertgoers have reported their children as missing and some are reaching out for help on social media.
Cabs were reportedly giving free rides to help get people away from the arena, and people offered space in their homes to stranded concertgoers seeking shelter. Manchester’s Victoria Coach Station, which is located next to the venue, was evacuated earlier this morning and is expected to remain closed all day.
Campaigning for the June 8 UK General Election has been suspended in wake of the attack.
UPDATE: CBS New York reports that “British investigators now know the explosion took place outside of the Manchester Arena ticket booth and outside the security perimeter in place to protect the crowds.”
According to Gothamist:
The NYPD said, “Out of an abundance of caution, we have moved additional heavy weapons teams to high profile locations around the city. In addition to our heavy weapons teams, New Yorkers will also see vapor wake explosive detection dogs, highly trained counterterrorism officers, and random bag checks at transit locations, among other things.”
Manchester Arena issued a statement:
— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017
— Little Mix (@LittleMix) May 23, 2017
— micheal macintyre (@leanish8) May 23, 2017
This morning, ISIS reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 23, 2017
A statement from Islamic State claiming responsibility for last night's attack has been released in English as well now. pic.twitter.com/xiYXf4hKfr
— Shiraz Maher (@ShirazMaher) May 23, 2017