Yesterday at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb killing 22 concert goers and injuring dozens more.
Among those killed and injured were children, owing to the Ariana Grande’s young fanbase.
The attack took place at about 10:30pm yesterday in the foyer area of Manchester Arena, which caused hundreds of attendees to flee for their safety. Medics at the scene likened the wounds of those injured at the concert to injuries from shrapnel.
Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister said her thoughts are with the victims and their families.
“We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” she added. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected,” May said.
President Donald Trump went several steps further. Speaking from Bethlehem on Israel’s West Bank, Trump said, “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life.”
Isis have claimed responsibility for this attack, however the British security service MI5 and the police counter-terrorism network are who are currently investigating the incident have yet to link the extremist organisation.
A statement from Islamic State claiming responsibility for last night's attack has been released in English as well now. pic.twitter.com/xiYXf4hKfr
— Shiraz Maher (@ShirazMaher) May 23, 2017
The bomber, who died in the attack, has had his identity confirmed as 23-year-old Salman Abedi. Police have arrested another 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.
With regards to last night’s incident at the Manchester arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
With 22 dead, the Manchester attack is the second worst event of its kind in the UK, after the 2005 bombing in London’s transport network which took the lives of 52 people.
One witness, Erin McDougle, described the incident as follows: “There was a loud bang at the end of the concert. The lights were already on so we knew it wasn’t part of the show. At first we thought it was a bomb. There was a lot of smoke. People started running out. When we got outside the arena there were dozens of police vans and quite a few ambulances.”
Friends and family of those who were in attendance at the concert turned to social media to verify the safety of their loved ones following the attack.
We have still not found OLIVIA CAMPBELL. If you see her please contact me ASAP. pic.twitter.com/8LboKg0B2n
— Aleshia Anne (@Hello_Leesha) May 23, 2017
“We have still not found OLIVIA CAMPBELL,” writes Aleshia Anne on Twitter. “If you see her please contact me ASAP.”
That tweet has been retweeted 1,325 times as of writing this article.
Ariana Grande’s tour has been suspended indefinitely following this attack. In a tweet from the early hours of Tuesday morning, Grande, an LGBT ally, expressed her resolute sorrow at the situation: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
The first names of victims from the attack at Manchester Arena have been released.
An eighteen-year-old girl named Georgine Callander was confirmed to be one of the twenty-two killed at the concert.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) May 23, 2017
Callander, from Tarleton in Lancashire, was a big fan of the US pop star, having met Grande two years ago in 2015.
An 8-year-old child named Safe rose Roussos has been identified as another victim who lost their life in the attack.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 23, 2017
An updated list of victims was released on Wednesday which confirmed the death of Martyn Hett, a gay Ariana Grande fan and friend of GCN food reviewer James Kavanagh.
Name a more iconic duo pic.twitter.com/5HASCTB9nQ
— Martyn (@martynhett) May 22, 2017
Kavanagh spoke about the loss of his friend:
“The world has lost one of its most hilarious and iconic people. From the moment we met, I knew I struck gold in the friend department. I was instantly in love with him & his equally iconic and beautiful other half, Russell. Last night, I went back through our Facebook messages and was laughing and crying at how razor sharp and witty he always was no matter what he was saying to me. He was a total joy in my life, and I’m now seeing that he didn’t just light up my life, he enriched and lit up hundreds (probably thousands) of other people’s lives too. You’ll always be in my mind Martyn Hakan Hett, you total and utter gas bitch of life ❤️ I’m imagining you glugging wine and eating marrow with Deirdre Barlow somewhere. My love and thoughts are with his family, legions of friends & Russell.”
Hett’s brother Dan took to Twitter to share his family’s heartbreak.
“they found my brother last night. we are heartbroken,” he wrote.
they found my brother last night. we are heartbroken.
— Dan Hett (@danhett) May 24, 2017
Messages of support for those who have been affected by the attack in Manchester have flooded in from people across the globe.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester, any one affected, @ArianaGrande and the entire crew. Heartbreaking,” Pink tweeted.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester, any one affected, @ArianaGrande and the entire crew. Heartbreaking
— P!nk (@Pink) May 23, 2017
Lucy Spraggan tweeted: “There aren’t any words. Wishing strength and hope to the families and friends that need it right now.”
There aren't any words.
Wishing strength and hope to the families and friends that need it right now.
— Lucy Spraggan (@lspraggan) May 23, 2017
James Corden has released a video message to Manchester and those who have been affected by this attack.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester tonight,” Corden said on the Late Late Show.
“When I think of Manchester, of the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there and I’m telling you, a more tight-knit group of people, you will be hard-pressed to find.”
“We’ll all go to bed holding our little ones even tighter this evening,” he said.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.