At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena

By Reuters/ Jon Super   May 23, 2017 | 08:00 am GMT+7
At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena
Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena in northern England where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Jon Supe

British police is treating it as a 'terrorist incident'.

A blast on Monday night at a concert in the English city of Manchester where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing left at least 19 people dead and about 50 injured in what British police said was being treated as a terrorist incident.

Police said they were responding to reports of an explosion and that there were a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people.

A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush as thousands of people trying to escape.

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Police set up a cordon outside the Manchester Arena in northern England where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Jon Super

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Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Andrew Yates

"We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.

"It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out."

 

Witnesses reported that many children were at the concert.

Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue.

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An ambulance drives away from the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Andrew Yates

A spokesman for Ariana Grande, 23, said the singer was "okay". A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue.

Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe" meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely.