Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that 19 people have died in what is being treated as a terrorist incident at the Manchester Arena.
A further 50 people have been injured, according to GMP sources, following a concert by Arianna Grande.
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Manchester Arena has released a statement saying that the incident took place outside the venue, “in a public space”.
Police have just used a controlled explosion on another suspect device in Cathedral Gardens, which was caught on the BBC as they spoke to one of their correspondents on the scene.
The suspicious package has since been confirmed as discarded clothing by GMP.
Officers carrying out a precautionary controlled explosion in Cathedral Garden confirm that it was abandoned clothing, not a suspicious item
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Train services operating from Victoria Station have also been suspended by Network Rail but no reason has been given.
#ManchesterVic – Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.
— National Rail (@nationalrailenq) May 22, 2017
A video has been circulating on Twitter that purports to show a small flash of the explosion, followed by a loud bang.
— Joe Gregory (@JoeAaronGregory) May 22, 2017
The dashcam’s time stamp shows 21:31, but the owner stated on Twitter that the camera had not been adjusted for British Summer Time, placing the explosion at 22:31.
A cordon has been formed around the Arena, Victoria Station and Manchester Cathedral, while a Police Helicopter circulates overhead according to Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s North West editor.
Police cordon massive around Victoria Station, the Arena, Cathedral and beyond. Police helicopter still circling above.
— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) May 22, 2017
There have been conflicting reports throughout the night, including two explosions and several gunshots being heard, although this has not been officially confirmed.
An unverified eyewitness account given to the BBC from a man picking up his wife and daughter said “it was definitely an explosion and there were definitely fatalities”.
The eyewitness said that he saw 20-30 bodies, including children. A fatality number is yet to be released by GMP, and will likely take until the morning.
North West Ambulance Service have asked that people only call for their assistance if it is life threatening, due to a high concentration of emergency services at the Arena.
Due to the incident in Manchester, please only call us for life threatening emergencies at this time. Thank you.
— NWAS NHS Trust (@NWAmbulance) May 22, 2017
Many concert patrons were seen to be holding large pink balloons, which may account for the sound of possible gunshots.
Concerned parents are being urged on Twitter to go to a local Holiday Inn if they have been separated from their children, as over 50 unaccompanied minors are in the hotel.
The Greater Manchester Police Facebook page has been inundated with people from Manchester offering refuge to those who have no means to get home, as well as offers of medically trained volunteers. Taxis in the area of the arena are also offering free rides home.
#RoomForManchester has emerged on Twitter, offering help to people who cannot travel home, with Manchester residents offering places to stay as well as offering to ferry people away from the area.
Senior anti-terrorism officials are liaising with Home Office officials in London to investigate and the North West Terrorism Unit is treating this as a “possible terrorist incident” according to the BBC.
There are reports of Bomb Disposal unit on the scene, however this could be a precautionary measure.
A number of politicians have responded to the incident. Prime Minister Theresa May said it was an “appalling terrorist attack”, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also sent his condolences to those effected as did Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
A reported 21,000 were in attendance at the event.
Last Updated – 02:43, 23/05/2017