Suicide Bomber Claims 22 Lives, Injures 60 Others at Ariana Grande Concert
At about 10:30 last night Manchester police received about 250 phone calls reporting an explosion at the Ariana Grande concert being held at Britain’s Manchester Arena. So far, the numbers run at 22 dead and about 60 injured, children being among both parties. Those wounded were taken to eight different hospitals in the area. First announced among the deceased were eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callender. This is the deadliest terrorism incident since the London Underground Bombings of July 7th, 2005.
As Ms. Grande was ending her show with her iconic rain of pink balloons, an explosion went off in the foyer area of the arena that connects to the city’s train and tram systems, sending concertgoers fleeing from the 21,000 capacity venue. Police are not yet sure how many of the deceased are so directly because of the explosion or being crushed under the subsequent stampede. Many children were separated from their parents last night at the time of the attack, and there are many who are still considered missing. Prime Minister Theresa May called the Manchester attack an act of “sickening cowardice.”
Police say they have the name of the suicide bomber, but won’t be releasing it until they’ve determined if he was working alone or part of a larger network of terrorists, though since the attack, the Islamic State has taken responsibility. They’ve also arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester. More than 400 officers are working on this investigation.
In the wake of this tragedy, an emergency number has been set up for those still trying to find loved ones, many residents of Manchester have opened up their homes to any victims using #RoomforManchester, and the United Kingdom has suspended all campaigning for its June 8th general election.