+++ Breaking News: 11:02am The nearby Arndale Centre, Manchester, a shopping mall, has been urgently evacuated 'with people seen running' A Man arrested, and bundled into a police van +++ A 23-year old male has been arrested in connection with the Manchester Arena Incident.
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Last night Monday 22nd May 2017 Manchester Police were alerted at 10:33pm to an explosion detonated 'by a lone male attacker' at the Manchester Arena Concert Hall (which is connected to Manchester Victoria Railway Station), in the Ticket Hall area - now known to have killed 22 people, and seriously injured some 59 more.
The serious injured are being treated at 8 hospitals in the region ( all have declared Major Incident Status and elected ( pre-booked) operations cancelled ) - The explosion was at the end of a concert by the American artiste Ariana Grande, she had just finished the last song 'Dangerous Woman' of her set and in the process of leaving the stage.
The capacity (circa. 21,000) audience of families (with many young daughters - which is Miss Grandes fan base) were making their way to the exits, when a muffled single explosion was heard, later confirmed to be an improvised explosive device (IED), - later eye witness reports on BBC5 Live suggest the explosive device contained shrapnel in the form of metal nuts - strapped to 'a lone male suicide bomber' who died in the ticket hall area.
As a result of the device he detonated. The device killed 22 concert goers and injured 59 more.
It is not known if the male attacker was acting alone or part of a network, or if other threats are imminent The national threat level ( second highest ) remains unchanged at 'SEVERE'. ie 'an attack is highly likely' the highest level is termed 'Critical'.
Speaking at 11am, this morning, following the first of two COBRA meetings to be held today, the Prime Minister confirmed the threat level would remain under review, but at the moment is it unchanged at 'SEVERE'. Mrs May also confirmed the authorities now know the identity of the deceased bomber, and that she would be travelling to Manchester later today.
Repeated Tannoy announcements by Miss Grandes American management urging the departing audience to stay calm, but were severely undermined, by the smell of burning and according to eyewitnesses: 'hazy smoke - smelling like fireworks', this provoked a rush for the exits, and widespread panic set in, with people screaming and crying, some injured in the scramble to escape the premises.
Witnesses are now saying on camera, that little or no security was evident, and that not all bags were searched on entering the Arena.
Emergency first responders were already making their way to the locus of the explosion within minutes of the first calls coming in at 10:33pm on Monday. Many children were severely injured.
Manchester police confirmed that over 400 officers were deployed overnight and additional specialist resources from all over the UK have been called in.
A police cordon has been thrown around both the Arena and the adjoining \Manchester Victoria railway station (the Station is CLOSED)
General Election campaigning has been suspended until further notice. The SNP in Scotland have cancelled their Manifesto launch scheduled for later today. A meeting of the COBRA Committee at 10 Downing Street will take place at 9:00am.
The flag at No 10 has been lowered to half mast. Airports and Ports are on high alert and extra security measures are already in place.
The new Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham thanked emergency services who worked tirelessly overnight and to the people of Manchester who opened their doors to strangers and offered overnight accommodation and transport. Other political figures have overnight been expressing messages of sympathy.
Press Association at 0800am 23May 2017 reported:
Here is what we know so far about the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena:
22 people have died and 59 have been injured in the blast. Children are among the dead.
- The explosion rocked the venue at the conclusion of a performance by the American star Ariana Grande. She tweeted that she was "broken" by the incident.
- Greater Manchester Police said a lone male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated.
- General Election campaigning has been suspended after the attack
- Theresa May will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday at 9am.
- Emergency number for anyone concerned about loved ones is: 0161 856 9400
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