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19 killed, 50 injured in Manchester terror blast

By AFP

Added 23rd May 2017 07:50 AM

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on June 8.

19 killed, 50 injured in Manchester terror blast

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on June 8.



Nineteen people have been killed in a suspected terrorist attack during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in the northwest English city of Manchester, police said Tuesday.

There was panic as Grande's audience of youthful fans fled the 21,000-capacity venue late Monday after what eyewitnesses described as an explosion in the foyer area at the end of the concert.

At least two parents waiting for their children outside were injured by the explosion, with one saying he had been hit by shrapnel in his leg and another feeling "heat on my neck."

Ambulances and bomb disposal teams rushed to the venue, as worried family members searched for their loved ones and residents opened their doors to stranded concert-goers after trains were cancelled.

"So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise," police said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "appalling terrorist attack" and suspended her campaign ahead of a general election on June 8.

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," said May, who was due to chair an emergency ministerial meeting later on Tuesday at around 0800 GMT.

Grande, who was due to give a concert in London later on Tuesday, said she was "broken" in a tweet.

"Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words," she wrote.

Manchester Arena said the blast "took place outside the venue in a public space", while police said it was "within the foyer area of the stadium".

The foyer connects the auditorium with Victoria train and tram station, a major transport hub on the northern edge of the city centre.

Gary Walker from Leeds told BBC Radio 5 Live he was hit by shrapnel in his foot and his wife sustained a stomach wound as they waited for their daughters.

"We heard the last song go and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke," he said.

Isabel Hodgins, an actress who had been attending the concert, told Sky News: "Everybody was panicking, there was pushing up the stairs.
"The corridor was full, it smelled of burning, there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving.

"It's just shocking and we just feel very shaken up. We're just lucky to have gotten away safely," she said.

Majid Khan, 22, who was attending the concert with his sister, said: "A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena".

Calvin Welsford, 18, from Bristol told the BBC: "It almost sounded like a gunshot".

"I looked around and people were just spilling down, heading out of the building".

"I was actually having an asthma attack. It was sheer panic," he said.

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