22 people have sadly died in a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena last night, with a further 59 people injured. The attack took place during Ariana Grande’s concert, with children and teenagers are confirmed among the dead. Police responded to calls about an explosion at the arena shortly after 10:30 pm last night and later confirmed that it was caused by someone detonating an improvised explosive device outside the venue as the concert came to an end.
In the hours following the attack, people in Manchester and the surrounding area have come together to offer their support to victims of the attack. There have been reports of taxi drivers offering free rides to those trying to get away from the Arena, or to hospitals in search of friends and family while Manchester residents opened their homes to those affected with the hashtag #RoomsForManchester. Hotels in the city centre have also been allowing people to stay for free in the aftermath of the attack, with many offering shelter to children and teenagers who have been separated from their parents. Watch an interview Channel 4 conducted with one of the taxi drivers offering free rides below.
Taxi drivers, hotel workers and the emergency services have worked through the night to help those caught up in the Manchester attack pic.twitter.com/9FhngeMReO
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 23, 2017
One woman, Paula Robinson, 48, told Reuters of how she helped teenagers who had become separated from their parents find shelter. Robinson was in Victoria Station when they heard the explosion and saw concertgoers fleeing from the arena, she then led them to a nearby hotel and shared her number on Facebook to help connect parents with stranded children and teenagers. She is no longer with the children and has asked parents who are still trying to locate theirs please contact the helpline below.
On social media, people have been sharing photos of and information about concertgoers who are still missing. A hotline has been set up for those concerned about loved ones who have not returned home from the concert. Concerned parties can call 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900. Those who wish to help victims or emergency services should consult The Manchester Evening News’ guide on how best to assist them. The paper has also established a fundraising campaign in aid of the families and victims, find that here.
All election campaigning has been suspended until further notice following the attack with the leaders of Britain’s major political parties all offering their condolences to victims. The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement outside Downing Street in the next half an hour, according to The Sun reporter Tom Newton Dunn, she will then travel to Manchester. The police have asked anyone with information about the evening’s events, in particular mobile phone footage of the attack, contact the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321 or call 999.
Ariana Grande has said she is ‘broken’ following the news and reports are coming in that she has suspended the rest of her European tour. Her manager Scooter Braun has issued a statement on the attack, read that below.
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) May 23, 2017
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Our thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected by last night’s attack.