British police: 19 fatalities after incident at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester
Samantha Beech, CNN
Published at | Updated at
(CNN) — [Breaking news update, 6:14 p.m.]
Greater Manchester Police released a statement saying 19 people have been confirmed dead with around 50 injured.
[Previous story published at 5:41 p.m.]
There are fatalities following an incident Monday at Manchester Arena in England, where pop singer Ariana Grande was performing, local police.
In a Facebook post, Greater Manchester Police released the following statement: “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.”
The warning to stay away from Manchester Arena came after reports of two loud explosions during Grande’s concert Monday night. The crowd was made up of mainly younger people, who had come to see Grande tonight, her first of 3 concerts in the UK, on her European and Latin American tour.
Ivo Delgado, a witness, told CNN he heard one explosion as the concert was ending. He said there was smoke in a main corridor outside the arena seating and stage area.
“It was a really big explosion. Everybody started screaming and running,” he said.
Delgago said: “There were people on the floor … There was a lot of confusion.”
Social media posts from the scene showed panicked concert goers running down the arena’s stairs in an attempt to get away.
Greater Manchester Police tweeted that emergency services were “responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available.” They later tweeted that a “casualty bureau” was being set up at the arena site.
British Transport Police told CNN it was in the process of closing some transport in the area.
Video from near the scene showed a caravan of ambulances heading to the arena.
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn offered support on Twitter. “Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.”
Musicians such as Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry all offered supportive tweets.
Perry tweeted Monday that she is “Praying for everyone at @ArianaGrande’s show.”