At least 22 people were killed and more than 50 injured in an explosion at a concert by famous United States singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, United Kingdom, on Monday. The explosion occurred at the end of the concert, and according to two US officials, a suicide bomber was suspected to be behind the attack.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack by police authorities. If it is confirmed as one, this would be the deadliest militant attack on Britain since suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005, which had killed 52 people.
Police reportedly believes that the attacker died at the venue after detonating the bomb. No terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility yet.
Reports state that police responded to the blast after 10:35 pm (21:35 GMT) at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people. Children were also present at the venue where the American singer was performing.
UK politicians suspend general elections campaign
UK politicians have suspended their campaigns for the upcoming general elections, in wake of the attack.
PM Modi condemns attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Tuesday saying that he was "pained" by the incident.
"We strongly condemn it. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured," he tweeted.
UK police releases emergency number
Manchester police chief constable Ian Hopkins said that the UK law enforcement is treating the attack as a "terrorist incident," until they have further information. The officer said that the police authorities are working closely with the national council of terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners.
Hopkins also released an emergency number for all those who are searching for their loved ones at the incident. The number is 01618569400.
A video of the incident was also posted on Twitter which showed many fans screaming and running from the venue, most of them teenagers.
Many parents, whose children were at the concert, frantically posted their photos on social media searching for their whereabouts, pleading for any information.
"We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," Catherine Macfarlane, who was present at the venue, 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."
Eyewitness claims weak security
An eyewitness, Chris Pawley, criticised the security at the venue, saying that there were minimal arrangements and it was easy for anyone to sneak an explosive inside.
Ariana Grande safe, tweets
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the 23-year-old pop singer said that Ariana Grande was safe, and that they are investigating what happened at the concert venue.
"Ariana is okay. We are further investigating what happened," the spokesperson told NBC.
The pop star took to Twitter hours after the incident saying she was "broken" by the attack.
broken.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
Greater Manchester Police urged people to avoid the affected area.
"Emergency services are currently responding to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena. There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured. Please AVOID the area as first responders work tirelessly at the scene. Details of a casualty bureau will follow as soon as available," The Sun quoted police sources as saying.