On Monday night, Ariana Grande performed in the city of Manchester, England to a vast, mostly adolescent audience. Nothing seemed amiss until the end of the show, when an explosion tore through the arena foyer. So far nineteen people have been pronounced dead, and at least 50 injured.
According to the Washington Post, Grande’s last song incorporated falling balloons; some thought they had popped, inciting needless panic. But as they fled from Manchester Arena, witnesses beheld the dismal truth: still bodies of those killed or injured, and others, blood-splattered, struggling to reach safety.
In a statement, the Greater Manchester Police announced that “this is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”
Wythenshawe, the northern English city’s local hospital tells the Post that it is housing “mass casualties” from the concert. Manchester Arena can accommodate up to 21,000 people.
“It was really scary,” Michelle Sullivan told BBC. She attended Grande’s show with her 12- and 15-year-old daughters. “Just as the lights have gone down we heard a really loud explosion...Everybody screamed...When we got out they just said ‘Keep on running, keep on running.’”
Grande is reportedly uninjured, though TMZ reports that she is “in hysterics” after learning that people lost their lives at her concert.
Update 11:20 P.M.: CNN reports that the explosion was likely the work of a suicide bomber. A male has been identified on scene as the suspected attacker. Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the tragedy as an “appalling terrorist attack.” In the meantime, the number of those injured has risen to 59.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated as more details become available.