Suspected terror attack kills 22, injures over 50 in Manchester

By Chris Peterson in London | | Updated: 2017-05-23 06:54

Suspected terror attack kills 22, injures over 50 in Manchester

Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain, May 23, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Death toll rose to 22 and 59 people were injured in what UK Prime Minister Theresa May said was being treated by police as a major terrorist attack.

An explosion came at Manchester Arena, in the center of the city, as US pop star Ariana Grande finished a sell-out concert attended by many young teenagers and their parents.

Eyewitnesses spoke of bodies strewn on the ground, covered in blood.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack although social media sites and web site linked to the extreme Islamic group ISIS were full of messages praising the attack, the Daily Telegraph reported.

May cancelled her general election campaigning as key ministers and security experts gathered in London for an emergency meeting.

Suspected terror attack kills 22, injures over 50 in Manchester

Still image from video shows people fleeing Manchester Arena in northern England where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

"We are working to establish the full details" of what had happened in Manchester, May told the BBC.

"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected," Mrs May said.

Eyewitness Andy Holey, who had gone to the arena to pick up his wife and daughter who had been at the concert, said: "As I was waiting, an explosion went off and it threw me about 30ft from one set of doors to the other set of doors.

"When I got up I saw bodies lying on the ground. My first thought was to go into the arena to try to find my family."

"When I couldn't find them, I went outside with the police and fire and looked through some of the bodies to try and find my wife and daughter."

"I managed to find them eventually and they're OK."

"It was definitely an explosion and it was some force. It happened near the box office at the entrance to the Arena."

Another person who witnessed the blast, Emma Johnson, told the BBC: "It was definitely a bomb. It was definitely in the foyer."

"We were stood at the top of the stairs and the glass exploded - it was near to where they were selling the merchandise.

"The whole building shook. There was a blast and then a flash of fire afterwards. There were bodies everywhere."

Bill Mullins, a London-based events worker in Manchester on a job, told China Daily he had just checked into his hotel in the evening when he heard a huge blast.

"It was crazy," he said.

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