Queen meets Manchester bombing victims

The Queen has met some of the young victims of the Manchester bombing in hospital as well as doctors, nurses and members of the emergency services who responded to the attack that killed 22 people and wounded many more.

She spoke to patients at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital on Thursday, where 19 casualties are being treated after what she called the "wicked" blast, five in critical care.

Asked by the Queen if she had come to Manchester especially for the Ariana Grande concert, 14-year-old Evie Mills, from Harrogate, said yes, it was a birthday present.

"[Grande] sounds very, very good, a very good singer," the Queen responded in footage on Sky News.

"It's dreadful. Very wicked... to target that sort of thing."

Wearing an orange hat and bright blue jacket, the queen was met with cheers at the hospital and in comments to Mills and her parents, noted how "everyone's united here".

Eight hospitals in and around the northern English city treated 116 casualties injured in the blast after the concert on Monday evening, NHS England said on Thursday, and 23 remain in critical care.

"She's lovely, it was just... mind-blowing really. You just wouldn't really expect it," 15-year-old Millie Robson told Sky News after meeting the Queen.

Suspicious package a false alarm

A reported suspicious package in Manchester that British army bomb disposal experts investigated has been deemed safe, police say.

Greater Manchester Police said officers and soldiers went to a street in Hulme, southwest of central Manchester, on Thursday.

The move sparked a brief period of alarm, coming amid a fast-moving investigation into Monday night's deadly bomb blast at Manchester Arena that killed 22.

Police say the bomber belonged to a network and investigations are taking place across Manchester.

The cordon in the area has been removed.

Reuters