Manchester bombing: Eight-year-old named as second victim

Manchester suspected terror attack: What we know

  • At least one blast happened at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in the UK, at around 10:30pm Monday (local time).
  • Police have confirmed 22 people have been killed, and more than 50 injured.
  • One explosion was reported to have hit the foyer of the arena. Reports say the blasts targeted people as they left the show.
  • Police say it was caused by a suicide bomber, who died in the blast.

AS IT HAPPENED

12:38am:

An eight-year-old girl is the second victim to be named after the bombing.

Saffie Rose Roussos has been remembered by her headteacher, from Tarleton Community Primary School in Leyland, as a "beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word".

"News of Saffie's death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends," he told local media.

"The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.

"She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly."

Mr Upton said specialist support has been called in to help students and staff deal with the news.

Twelve children under 16 years old are among the wounded, North West Ambulance Service's medical director David Ratcliffe said.

12:00am: 

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on its social media channels.

It said the bombing was carried out by a "Soldier of the Caliphate", according to Reuters.

BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said the message can mean the attacker was inspired by IS, rather than IS actually directing him to carry out the bombing.

11:20pm:

Queen Elizabeth has thanked everyone in the emergency services who responded to the blast, praising them for their "professionalism and care".

"The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert," she said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

"I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured."

The Queen said the people of Manchester have responded with "humanity and compassion to this act of barbarity".

10:56pm: A 23-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the bombing at the Manchester Arena.

Police said the man was arrested in South Manchester.

A second person has been arrested at the Arndale Shopping Centre after it was evacuated, but it's not thought to be linked to the attack on the concert on Monday night (local time).

10:40pm: 

A shopping mall in Manchester has been evacuated and witnesses report hearing a "big bang".

Video shows scores of people running and fleeing the Arndale shopping centre.

10:10pm

UK PM Theresa May has condemned the "callous terrorist attack" on the youngest members of society.

Ms May had just finished chairing a meeting of Cobra, the government's emergency committee, before speaking at a press conference.

"It is the worst attack this city has experienced and the worst ever to hit the north of England," she said.

Ms May said the government believed it knew the identity of the suicide bomber who detonated the explosives.

"The police and security services believe they know the identity of the perpetrator, but at this stage of their investigations, we cannot confirm his name."

9:00pm

Virgin Atlantic has removed passengers from a Dubai to London flight as a "precautionary measure".

"Our customers travelling on the VS401 from Dubai to London Heathrow have temporarily disembarked the aircraft for additional security checks," a Virgin Atlantic spokesman told The Sun Online.

"This is purely as a precautionary measure as the safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we’re planning to have everyone on their way as quickly as possible."

8:55pm

The first victim of the Manchester attack has been named.

Georgina Callander, 16, was one of the 22 people killed after the suicide bomber set off their explosive device.

Georgina had tweeted the US pop singer on Sunday (local time), writing: "SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU TOMORROW".

She died in hospital with her mother at her bedside, the Evening Standard says.

8:20pm

US President Donald Trump says that after the Manchester suicide bomb attack he will now call terrorists "evil losers".

Mr Trump was speaking in Israel as part of his trip to the Middle East.

"I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families - so many families of the victims," he said.

"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 are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.

"Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed, we cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today's attack it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society for ever.

"This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated, and the innocent life must be protected. All civilised nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace."

7:50pm

UK PM Theresa May is holding a special meeting of Cobra, the government's emergency committee, to discuss the Manchester attack. It is expected to start at 8pm (NZ time).

7:25pm

Flags have been lowered above 10 Downing Street in memory of the Manchester victims.

6:40pm

Greater Manchester police have released their latest statement on the attack.

6:10pm

Police have confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins says the attacker died in the explosion.

Mr Hopkins says police believe the man was "carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated causing this atrocity".

Police believe the attacker was acting alone, however they are working to investigate whether he was part of a network.

6:00pm

Greater Manchester police says 22 people have now died, and 59 people are injured.

5:30pm

Friends and family of missing teenager Olivia Campbell are appealing for any information.

Olivia attended the concert with her friend, who is also still missing.

Her mother, Charlotte, told CNN of her anguish.

"It's the most horrible feeling ever to know your daughter is there and you can't find her, and you don't know if she's dead or alive," she said.

"I don't know how people can do this to innocent children."

4:40pm

Chilling footage has emerged of teenagers jumping over the barricades as they flee in terror.

4:20pm

British Transport Police (BTP) assistant chief constable Robin Smith says extra officers - along with armed officers - will be made available for security.

"As the public would expect in response to an incident such as this, extra BTP officers will be on patrol at key railway stations as well as on trains around the country. Throughout the day, commuters can expect to see additional officers on their journey. This will include both armed and unarmed officers," he said.

"My officers are there to reassure concerned members of the public and we'd ask people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour by calling the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 123.

"Until known otherwise, police are treating this as a terrorist incident. Incidents such as this will undoubtedly shock the nation, however, it is essential we stand together in unity against those who try to disrupt our lives."

4:00pm

Islamic State supporters are celebrating on social media following the attack.

Twitter accounts affiliated to IS have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages.

Some messages describe the explosion as an act of revenge in response to air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

The extremist Islamist group hasn't formally claimed responsibility for the attack, however users say they hope IS was responsible for the blast.

"We hope that the perpetrator is one of the soldiers of the caliphate," one person wrote on messaging network Telegram, according to Reuters.

Others posted saying "the beginning is in Brussels and Paris, and in London we form a state".

Other users are encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.

3:20pm

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has urged any New Zealanders in Manchester to call home to confirm they're safe.

It's not known if any New Zealanders were caught up in the blasts.

"We understand there are about 14 Kiwis registered on TravelSafe who might be in Manchester but we haven't had any calls into our consular offices at the present time," Mr Brownlee said on Tuesday.

"My advice would be to anybody who is in Manchester if they get this particular broadcast would be to ring home and confirm their safety."

3:00pm

Ariana Grande has tweeted, saying she is "so so sorry. i don't have words."

2:55pm

Ariana Grande and her manager have released a statement on the attack, saying their "hearts are broken" and they "mourn" those killed by the explosion.

2:45pm

Greater Manchester Police has released its full statement on the attack.

2:35pm

Prime Minister Bill English told media on Tuesday afternoon that the Government has had no indication so far that any New Zealanders had been killed or injured in the Manchester attack.

"These events are still unfolding, it's an awful tragedy, people have lost their young ones in this and so our condolences go out to any families who have suffered from this," he said.

"But it'll take through to tomorrow morning in Britain to get a clear picture of what's happened and the impact of it, and whether there were any Kiwis.

"It's devastating for parents, if their young ones go off to entertainment no one expects them to lose their lives in such a cruel and unpredictable way."

2:25pm

Footage has emerged from inside the Arena of the explosion taking place.

2:20pm

The Manchester North West ambulance service says it has taken 59 casualties from Manchester Arena to hospitals.

It has also treated "a number of walking wounded on scene".

2:10pm

Greater Manchester Police is holding a press conference on the incident.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says they received reports at 10:33pm (local time) of an explosion.

He says 19 people have been killed, with a further 50 people injured.

The wounded are being treated at hospitals across Greater Manchester.

Police are working to investigate the explosion.

1:50pm

The UK PM, Theresa May, is going to chair an emergency meeting of the government's Cobra committee on Tuesday morning (local time).

A statement from 10 Downing Street said that the police are currently treating the incident as an "appalling terrorist attack".

1:29pm

Teenager Ellie Ward is at a hospital near the arena and has told the Guardian her grandfather was caught in the blast as he waited for her and her friend to come out of the concert. He was in the corridor by the merchandise table when he was hit by falling glass. 

"He's okay but he's cut his cheek, they said he had severed an artery. A lot of glass shattered on him.

"He said only realised what had happened when he felt the side of his head and it was bleeding. He was underneath the seats, by the merchandise, waiting for us to come out when we heard a massive shudder. We knew something was wrong."

1:20pm

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made a statement, saying her thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected. she described the attack as "appalling". 

1:13pm

Fellow popstars Lorde and Taylor Swift have posted messages of condolence about Manchester on Twitter.

1:10pm

"Walking through Manchester NQ was like a ghost town with endless sirens racing past.. Well done to the taxi drivers & hotels helping.." BBC reporter Clare Freeman has tweeted. 

"Met family of 4, parents both nurses - look on the fathers face said it all. He couldn’t talk. His wife said he’d tried to do CPR on victims."

1:04pm

A police news conference is expected soon. It's currently just after 2am in Manchester.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has shared contact details for any Kiwis at the Manchester incident. 

New Zealand's High Commission in London is assessing whether any Kiwis are involved.

There are 14 New Zealanders registered on TravelSafe as being in Manchester, but there are likely many more. 

Facebook has also activated its Safety Check feature.

12.50pm

Police say they have searched Oldham Hospital and report no offences and all staff and patients are safe and well.

Radio Manchester earlier reported the hospital was in lockdown, but the hospital had not elaborated on why.

12.45pm

Police say the 'precautionary controlled explosion' was carried out on an item of clothing.

"Officers carrying out a precautionary controlled explosion in Cathedral Garden confirm that it was abandoned clothing, not a suspicious item," Greater Manchester Police tweeted.

12:25pm

Police are extending the cordon around the arena, and say a controlled explosion is "imminent". 

They have been inspecting a silver vehicle at the rear of the venue.

Manchester Arena map
A map of the Manchester Arena area (Google)

12:23pm

Manchester Arena has released a statement:

"We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night.

"The incident took place outside the venue in a public space.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims."

12:11pm

The latest statement from Manchester Police: 

"So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. 

"This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise."

12:05pm

Police are searching an abandoned car at the rear of the Manchester Arena, BBC Radio Manchester says. 

US officials briefed on the Manchester explosion say UK authorities are investigating the incident as a possible suicide bombing, NBC is reporting.

11:55am

Radio Manchester reports Oldham Hospital has confirmed it is in lockdown. 

11:50am

"The North West Counter Terrorism Unit is treating the incident in Manchester as a possible terrorist incident, sources said," BBC reporter Daniel Sandford says.

"Senior national Counter-Terrorism officers are assembling in London and are liaising with the Home Office."

11:47am

#roomformanchester is developing on Twitter, with locals offering accommodation to affected concertgoers. Manchester taxis are also offering free rides away from the arena. 

11:45am

British Transport police say a blast happened in the foyer of the arena.

"Officers are at Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion within the foyer area of the stadium at 10:30pm."

A young woman has described to Radio Manchester seeing hundreds of girls running down the stairs. She could see they couldn't get out, so she grabbed her sisters head and pushed her out of the way, under the chair, she said.

She described seeing smoke and when outside, people with bandages on their heads. "My 12-year-old sister grabbed onto me and said 'I love you."

11:35am

A concertgoer has told Radio Manchester bags were checked by security. She went to the show with her daughters. She says she cannot get the image of the bodies out of her head.

11:28am

At least 20 people have been killed in the incident, NBC says, quoting "multiple law enforcement agencies". The number of fatalities has not yet been officially confirmed.

11:20am

"We ran, ran and ran," concertgoer Joanne told Radio Manchester. She was at the show with her 10-year-old daughter. "The girls are very shaken. Ariana Grande is their hero. I just found it really traumatic," she said.

11:15am

A bomb disposal unit has arrived at the Arena, according to a BBC reporter at the scene. "Can also hear sniffer dogs being brought out of the vans," BBC reporter Chis Slater has tweeted.

Twitter users are sharing a post saying the Holiday Inn hotel near the Manchester Arena has taken in more than 50 children who have lost their caregivers in the rush from the scene. 

"If you or anybody you know has been disconnected from your child please... check if they're at the Holiday Inn," the post says.

11:10am

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has tweeted: "Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services."

11:00am

A woman with blood on her t-shirt has told Radio Manchester she never wants to witness again what she witnessed - panic and people stampeding for the exit. The witness account was shared by a BBC journalist live at the scene. 

10:55am

Witnesses are reporting more than 50 emergency service vehicles outside the Manchester Arena, where the number of people killed and injured has not been clarified.

Video on social media shows the panic as people rush out of the Arena after the blasts. 

10:54am

Police say details will be revealed as soon as possible, and are urging people to stay away from the area.

10:45am

Manchester police have confirmed fatalities in the incident. 

10:38am

Ariana Grande's label representative has told Variety the popstar is "okay" after the incident was reported on social media. 

10:37am

More video is appearing on social media showing the evacuation of the Manchester Arena. 

10:18am

"Just got out of Manchester arena after seeing Ariana perform. There was a loud bang when the lights came on & everyone ran out screaming," one person wrote on Twitter.

Concertgoer Hannah Dane told the Guardian there was "quite a loud explosion heard from inside the Manchester arena and it shook, then everyone screamed and tried to get out".

"As we got outside, lots of police came racing towards the area and the whole of the Victoria train station was surrounded by police."

There were people "screaming and crying everywhere shouting that there's a bomb and also people were saying there's a shooter," she said.

Police are warning people to stay away from the area, and emergency services are rushing to the scene.

A woman who lives opposite the arena told the Press Association she "just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments and everyone was running away in big crowds.

"The bang was so big I heard it from my room which is at the back of the apartment blocks," Suzy Mitchell said.

"Currently lots of emergency services going to and from. But can't see anything substantial as of yet except fleeing people and lots of cars."

An Ariana Grande fan Twitter account says security did not check anyone's bags, and claims a bomb went off. The Twitter account has shared an image purporting to show bodies on the ground at the scene, but it has not been verified.

More to come.

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