MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Police in the United Kingdom say 19 people were killed and 50 hurt after an explosion at Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert. The incident is being investigated as terrorism.
Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
In a statement on social media Monday night, the Greater Manchester Police say emergency services are responding to the arena.
“There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured,” police say.
“Please stay away from the area,” the Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter.
In another tweet, police say, “Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area.”
Social media accounts say a couple loud bangs were heard at the arena where singer Ariana Grande was performing.
Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC, “The lights had come up everyone was just getting out and walking towards the stairs, when all of a sudden this huge sound which sounded like an explosion went off.”
She added: “Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted ‘it’s a bomb’ and everyone just started running. Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming crying and pushing.”
Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an “explosion.” When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.
Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. “I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic,” she said. “We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”
A representative for Grande reported she is okay.
It is unclear at this time what has happened, but concert-goers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert, and social media posts say people were running out of the arena. Emergency services are on the scene of the incident.
Ambulances were seen outside the arena, and rail service was halted in the area. The nearby Manchester Victioria Rail Station was evacuated due to the incident.