Explosion, Many Deaths, Injuries at Ariana Grande Concert in Manchester in Suicide Bombing

Something awful happened at the Manchester Arena Monday night (May 22) where concertgoers claimed their heard two explosions at the very end of Ariana Grande’s concert. People have been killed (Manchester police say 22 have died with at least 10 of them under 18) and at least 59 injuries have been reported, some with shrapnel-like injuries. One of the dead was just eight. She was with her mother and sister at the show but became separated.

More than a dozen people are still missing.

Some people appear to have been injured in the panic as people fled toward the exits. One witness says he saw “about 30” victims, some who “looked dead.” Others report seeing people “crushed on the floor.”

A big explosion seemed to originate from the public foyer of the arena (ie. before security and outside the ticketed part of the venue) around 10:35 pm local time in an area where people would stop to buy merch on the way out. The location of the explosion was the walkway towards the train station, which is a major exit for the venue.

The capacity of the Manchester Arena is around 20,000 and is the largest indoor arena in Europe. Given that it was an Ariana Grande concert, there were plenty of children, tweens and teenagers in the crowd. A local Holiday Inn is acting as a place for where parents can pick up their children.

A second suspect device was discovered and was subject to a controlled detonation, but it was determined to be nothing but “abandoned clothing.”

Manchester police say they are considering this to be a terrorist attack. The body of a male has been identified as a suspect and a 22-year-old male has been arrested as a possible accomplice and a police raid was carried out on an apartment complex midday Tuesday. The suspect is Salman Abedi, a British citizen from a Libyan family.

Given that the UK has one of the highest concentration of CCTV security cameras, you can bet that people are pouring over video right now,

It may be relevant that it happened on the fourth anniversary of the public machete murder of British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of south London by two Islamic extremists. It was also the anniversary of a massive IRA bombing at a Manchester shopping centre in 1996.

The Canadian Prime Minister’s Office issued this statement:

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on an apparent terrorist attack in Manchester, United Kingdom:

“I was devastated when I heard about the innocent victims who were killed or injured at the Ariana Grande concert tonight in Manchester – many of them far too young.

“On behalf of all Canadians, our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those who were killed. We also wish a speedy recovery to everyone who was injured.

“Canada and the United Kingdom are the closest of friends, and we stand together as a people in this most tragic of circumstances.

“With our allies and partners, we will continue to counter such senseless acts and to fight terrorism in its many forms. We will do all that we can to assist British authorities in bringing those responsible to justice.

“Our hearts are with the people of the United Kingdom tonight, and we mourn with them the loss of so many innocent victims.”


“We are still in the process of determining whether any Canadians have been impacted by this event.

“Canadian citizens in the United Kingdom requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the High Commission of Canada at 0207 004 6000 or call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre toll free at 00-800-2326-6831 or collect at +1 613 996-8885. An email can also be sent to [email protected]

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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