MANCHESTER (AP) — An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens in what police say they are treating as a terrorist attack.
Greater Manchester Police said 19 people were confirmed dead and roughly 50 were injured by the explosion at Manchester Arena. Emergency vehicles were helping the injured and bomb disposal units were later seen outside the venue.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: Parts of San Mateo County Pummeled with Heavy Rain, Flooding
Manchester police made the announcement about the number of casualties shortly after 1 a.m. local time.
There was mass panic after the explosion at the end of the concert, which was part of Grande’s The Dangerous Woman Tour. The singer was not injured, according to a representative.
Britain’s terrorist threat level has been set at “severe” in recent years indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.
Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m. but there were few further details.
Initially police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena Monday night.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is working to establish “the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”
She said her thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected. The government is expected to call an emergency Cabinet meeting.
If the incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the most deadly in Britain since the London subway bombings in 2005.
Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m. but there were few further details.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Drenches Northern California With Historic Rainfall
“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain’s Press Association. “It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”
Added Oliver Jones, 17: “The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.”
Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.
One concert goer told BBC 5 she was one of first people to exit the stadium. She said she heard an explosion toward the end of the performance. There were an estimated 20,000 people inside the arena on Monday night.
Grande’s publicist said the singer is safe and okay after the incident.
Grande is a 23-year-old singer and actress from South Florida. She was a Nickelodeon child star before releasing her debut album in 2013.
Last year Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Her music videos have been watched more than 7 billion times online. She is the second most followed person on Instagram.
She was in Manchester part of her current world tour.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Streets Flood in San Rafael, Mill Valley as Wild Storm Lashes Bay Area
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