At least 19 people are dead and 50 more injured after a suspected suicide bomber targeted children leaving a packed pop concert at Manchester Arena last night. The nail bomb was reportedly planted near the exit.
Witnesses told of nuts and bolts tearing into young concert-goers when the blast was detonated in the foyer area between the arena and the next-door Victoria station just after the Ariana Grande gig ended.
Horrifying footage showed petrified children leaping over chairs and barriers as they desperately tried to escape the 21,000-seat venue, which led to a stampede.
Two US officials have said it was a suspected suicide bomber. Armed officers surrounded the venue and bloodied casualties were seen being stretchered out of the concert that resembled a ‘war zone’.
A man who took his daughter to the gig said:
‘Ariana said: “Bye bye Manchester!”
‘The lights came on then there was two big noises and people started running and shouting.
‘We got in a lift to go up to the next floor to the exits. When the doors opened I saw blood on the floor and two injured people.
Blood all over their faces. A lot of people were in shock.’
Eyewitness Sasina Akhtar said:
‘She [Ariana Grande] did her last song, we were in the lower tier and there was an explosion behind us at the back of the arena.
‘We saw young girls with blood on them, everyone was screaming and people were running. There was lots of smoke.’
Abby Mullen from Airdire, North Lanakshire who was at the event said:
‘As we were leaving a bomb or explosion went off centimetres in front of me. People’s skin and faeces where everywhere including in my hair and on my bag.
‘I’m still finding bits of God knows what in my hair. You never ever expect these things to happen to you but this proves it can happen to anybody.
That sound, the blood and those who were running around clueless with body parts and bits of skin missing will not be leaving my mind any time soon or the minds of those involved.’