22 Dead After Manchester Arena Suicide Bombing
Yesterday,Â 22 people were killed in a horrific suicide bombing just after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arenaâ€”including several children. According to reports by NBC News, Manchester Police Chief ConstableÂ Ian Hopkins has named a young man named Salman Abedi as the person responsible for the attack. The 22-year-old detonated an explosive near a venue exit Monday night at 10:33 p.m., causing multiple injuries and deaths, as well as mass chaos. Among the victims were an 8-year-old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos, a student at Tarleton Community Primary School in Manchester; and 18-year-old Georgina Callander, a second year student at Runshaw College in Lancashire. At least 59 others were wounded in the attack, including at least a dozen minors, though that number may rise as more reports come in.
A 23-year-old man has also been arrested in Manchester in connection to the bombing, though no word yet on his name. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attack, though so far British officials have not confirmed this claim. As you might imagine, tensions are especially high right now in Manchester, where the terrorist threat level is at “severe”, indicating the possibility of another pending attack.
Concert goers who happened to be recording video at the arena managed to also capture the moment of the explosion as heard inside, as well as scenes of the terrifying aftermath. Please be warned some of the content may be upsetting to viewers:
Explosion in Manchester arena . Please stay away from Manchester arena everyone #manchesterexplosion #ManchesterArena #Manchester pic.twitter.com/kwz2Ayo5wY
— Evan Al-Jaf (@evan_jaf) May 22, 2017
More chaotic scenes in Manchester. At least 20 dead and hundreds injured. #Manchester #manchesterexplosion https://t.co/L7FZE5QXxb pic.twitter.com/vaEL6hru3i
— Liberal 'Logic' ?? (@LiberalLogic123) May 22, 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack, “appalling,” and noted the “cowardice” of the attacker who was clearly, “deliberately targeting innocent and defenseless young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.”
Pop singer and former Nickelodeon TV star Ariana Grande also tweeted out a message to her followers after the attack:
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
NBC News spoke with Nicola Murray, a Scottish mom from the town of Hamilton, who attended the concert with her 12-year-old daughter Olivia. She reported seeing a “red-orange looking-flash” and hearing a loud bang, which quickly incited “chaos” as people flocked toward the exit doors.
“We were getting swept with the people crushing to get out and I was terrified my daughter would get crushed. At one point, she was getting dragged away from me but I managed to pull her into me and force her in front of me while trying to direct her to the door and down the steps,” said Murray. What a truly horrific scene for any parent. For any person, really.
Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as with the Muslim community who may face backlash from people searching for a scapegoat after this atrocity.