Manchester Concert Bombing: What We Know Tuesday

NPR – by Bill Chappell

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

A bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, has killed 22 people and injured 59 more, police say. Monday night’s concert had drawn thousands of children and young people — many of whom were trying to leave when the blast hit. The bomber died at Manchester Arena, police say.  

Greater Manchester Police have identified Salman Abedi, 22, as the suspected suicide bomber. Earlier on Tuesday, police said they were trying to learn whether the bomber had support in carrying out the attack.

Into Tuesday morning, parents were still trying to determine the status of their loved ones who were at the American pop singer’s show. From Manchester, NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, “There’s still a lot of chaos here because some of the concertgoers haven’t been found.”

While an official list of victims has not been released, those who died include an 8-year-old girl, a college student and a 26-year-old man, local media reports.

At least one arrest has been made: Around noon local time Tuesday, the Greater Manchester Police said, “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.”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, via a statement issued Tuesday that promises more bloodshed, according to the SITE extremist monitor. It’s not yet known what kind of ties the bomber may have had with the group.

Here’s a roundup of the latest information and the facts that have been gathered so far:

The attack

The explosion struck the area between Manchester Arena and the adjacent Victoria Train Station. Police say the first report came in at 10:33 p.m. — a time that seems to have been chosen because it meant crowds of concertgoers were starting to head home from the arena, which seats around 21,000.

After the large blast struck, chaos took over at the arena (See Monday night’s story).

“A bang went off, and everyone stopped and screamed. … We basically hit the deck,” witness Josh Elliott told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It was bedlam … it was horrific. We got up when we thought it was safe and got out as quickly as possible. People were just crying and in tears. … Police cars were everywhere.”

The morning after the bombing, emergency response personnel were still working in the area of the attack, the police say, urging people to stay away from the arena.

On Tuesday morning, a security alert prompted an evacuation at the city’s Arndale shopping center, further rattling nerves in Manchester. Police say a man was arrested, adding, “This is not currently believed to [be] connected to last night’s attacks.”

The investigation

In addition to the arrest, police said Tuesday that they’ve “executed warrants, one in Whalley Range, and one in Fallowfield, where a controlled explosion took place.” Those areas are next to each other, roughly 5 miles south of Manchester Arena. No further information was released about the activity.

More than 240 calls were made to police immediately after the blast, and investigators are asking people who were at the concert to share images and footage from the scene, if they believe it can help the investigation. They’re also seeking any dashcam video recordings that drivers might have from 8 to 11 Monday night.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena,” Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a news conference. “We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity.”

A terrorist bomber struck in the center of Manchester, police say, in the area between the exits of Manchester Arena and the Victoria transit station.

Google Maps

More than 400 officers are working on the investigation, Manchester police say.

“The bombing marks the 12th deadly terrorist attack in Western Europe since the beginning of 2015,” NPR’s national security correspondent Greg Myre reports, “and overall, more than 300 people have been killed. ISIS has been linked to most of the attacks.”

The victims

Police say 22 people died, and 59 were injured. The wounded were taken to eight hospitals in the Manchester area. Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We know that among those killed and injured were many children and young people.”

Officials have not released a list of those killed, but their identities are beginning to be reported by British media, citing confirmation from families and schools and on social media. The Manchester Evening News names three of the people who lost their lives as Saffie Rose Roussos, 8; Georgina Bethany Callander, 18; and John Atkinson, 26.

The concert had drawn Ariana Grande fans from a wide area across Northern England and Scotland, NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports. He says parents who had dropped teenagers off at the show have been scrambling for information; police have posted a phone number for people to check on the status of their loved ones.

Many Children Among The Dead In Manchester Attack

“It would appear that this was targeting kids,” Frank says, “and I cannot remember something recently like that actually happening.” He added, “It feels different.”

The attack is the deadliest terrorist strike in the U.K. since suicide bombings hit London’s Underground train stations in July 2005. More than 50 people died in that coordinated assault.

The response

“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people,” May said, “but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice — deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.”

“The threat level remains at severe,” May said after holding an emergency Cabinet meeting Tuesday. She added that she will be visiting Manchester on Tuesday.

U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said, “This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society — young people and children out at a pop concert.”

Ariana Grande tweeted: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

President Trump, speaking during his trip to Bethlehem, offered prayers for Manchester, saying, “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”

The president added:

“So many young, beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them from now on losers, because that’s what they are. They’re losers. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers. Just remember that.”

Reactions in Manchester

“We are grieving today, but we are strong,” Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said Tuesday morning. The city will host a vigil in its Albert Square at 6 p.m. (local time).

A woman looks at flowers left in Manchester’s St. Ann Square on Tuesday, one day after a bomber carried out an attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images

British education officials say that because the attacks could have wide effects at schools, teachers should take the trauma and reaction into account when they decide whether to hold exams.

The attack sparked a “high response” from people wanting to donate blood, prompting the National Health Service to say, “We have all the blood required at the present time.” The agency had initially asked for potential donors to register but then cut off new registrations, again citing an overwhelming response.

“A lot of people are coming and bringing sandwiches and pastries, and showing their support,” Soraya reports from Manchester. “There definitely is a solidarity here and a protectiveness and also a resilience.”

While the area around the attack remains cordoned off, police said Tuesday, “We want to remind people that Manchester will not be defeated — the city is open for business.”

3 thoughts on “Manchester Concert Bombing: What We Know Tuesday

  1. Really, what a bunch of crap…I’m assuming we’ll be seeing all the cell phone and security footage in days coming right, haven’t seen anything but a bunch of hysteria…oh and when they release the internal high resolution digital pan tilt zoom footage from inside the stadium, it will be if 1973 quality ..:) of course this is totally real and isisisis is behind it…!

    1. The ‘ISIS’ guy probably kept asking his Mossad/CIA/MI5/6 handlers; “This is a drill, right?”

  2. “A bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, has killed 22 people and injured 59 more, police say.”

    Now THERE’S a credible source.

    “Police cars were everywhere.”

    And that was BEFORE the ‘incident’ took place.

    “ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack…”

    Another jew-created false flag, then.

    “War by Deception”.

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