Manchester, England under attack II At least 19 people are dead and almost 60 injured in bomb blast

Manchester, England (CNN)At least 19 people are dead and almost 60 injured in what police are treating as a terrorist incident Monday night at Manchester Arena, where pop singer Ariana Grande was performing, Greater Manchester Police said.

As concertgoers — many of them adolescent fans of the singer — were beginning to leave the arena after Grande’s closing set, an explosion rocked the area. Confusion followed as people fled in search of safety, and the sound of wailing sirens soon cut through the smoky air outside the arena.

Here’s what we know

  • 19 people dead and almost 60 injured, Greater Manchester Police say
  • Explosions reported at 10:35 p.m. on Monday, local time
  • Law enforcement officials say a suicide bombing is the likely reason for the blast. A male at the scene has been identified as the probable attacker
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May described the incident as an “appalling terrorist attack”
  • The incident took place outside the venue in a public space, Manchester Arena says. Venue held 20,000 people, many young fans
  • Emergency phone line set up for those who are concerned about loved ones: +44 (0)161 856 9400
The incident happened shortly after Grande had left the stage, according to eyewitnesses. Calvin Welsford, an 18-year-old concertgoer, said he heard a “loud bang” a couple of minutes after Grande’s set had finished.
“Ariana was off the stage, she’d finished her set,” he said. “I looked around because I heard this big bang, people screaming and crying and flooded towards the stage.”
A US official said suicide bombing is now considered to be the “likely” reason for the blast and a male at the scene in Manchester has been identified as the probable bomber.
A US Department of Homeland Security statement said it was “closely monitoring” the situation and added that the department has “no information to indicate a ‘specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States.'”
The city’s Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital was blocked off to all but essential staff due to what the facility called a major incident.
Grande, who had just finished the first of three scheduled UK performances when the blast hit, was not injured. She tweeted several hours later: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
After the initial incident, police carried out a precautionary controlled explosion nearby but the item turned out to be discarded clothing, not a “suspicious item,” Greater Manchester Police said.

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