Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that children are amongst the victims as the death toll rises to 22 – including a sole male suicide bomber – following last nights explosions at Manchester Arena.
The centre of Manchester is in lockdown this morning following the confirmed suicide attack.
A large area of the city centre around the MEN Arena and Victoria train station is cordoned-off with helicopters circling the deserted streets; what many consider Britain’s second city is more like a war scene this morning.
Thousands of gig-goers – many of them youngsters – were packed into the Manchester Arena to see American singer Ariana Grande when two explosions happened at approximately 10.33pm. It is now believed they explosions occurred in the foyer of the venue as people started to file out.
At least 22 people, including children, have been killed and 59 injured. Multiple witnesses reported hearing two “huge bangs” at the venue shortly after the US singer finished her performance.
The area around the arena were almost immediately swamped with police and emergency services and approach roads were cordoned-off.
Eyewitnesses described seeing people “running and screaming” from the arena, with some covered in blood.
Swarms of armed police were joined by a bomb disposal unit as teams from across the region worked to secure the area and help the injured.
The Holiday Inn nearest to the Manchester Arena took in at least 50 children who have been separated from their parents, whilst taxi drivers were giving people free lifts home.
An emergency number is available for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area – 0161 856 9400. Police have set-up an incident room and collection point at the nearby Etihad Stadium for victims and their families.