Greater Manchester police stated on Twitter that they are currently treating the situation as a “terrorist incident” and revealed the perpetrator was a man acting alone. He is believed to have died at the scene after detonating an explosive device.
According to a brief statement by the British Transport Police, the explosion occurred in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena around 10:30pm GMT, right about the time Grande’s performance concluded.
Numerous attendees have shared their stories of the chaos that followed the blast. From The New York Times:
Gary Walker, who was at the show with his wife and two daughters, said he “heard a massive bang and saw a flash” just as the concert finished. He turned and realized that his wife had been hurt. Mr. Walker, who is from the northern city of Leeds, said she had a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. He said he lay down with her and saw “metal nuts on the floor.” Ms. Walker was taken to a hospital, and Mr. Walker was standing with his daughters at Deansgate, the main shopping street in Manchester.
Andy Holey, who had gone to the arena to pick up his wife and daughter who had been at the concert, said: “As I was waiting, an explosion went off and it threw me about 30ft from one set of doors to the other set of doors. “When I got up I saw bodies lying on the ground. My first thought was to go into the arena to try to find my family. “When I couldn’t find them, I went outside with the police and fire and looked through some of the bodies to try and find my wife and daughter. “I managed to find them eventually and they’re OK. “It was definitely an explosion and it was some force. It happened near the box office at the entrance to the Arena.”
Grande’s label, Universal Media Group, also released a brief statement:
We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight’s devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.
Grande herself reached out to her fans on Twitter, writing, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”
There’s no word yet as to what will happen with the remainder of Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour, her next performance was set for London’s O2 Arena on May 25.
Those reacting to the attack on social media have worked to help connect concerned family members and friends with loved ones, and numerous Manchester locals have also offered their homes to those stranded in the city.
Several of Grande’s musical peers have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the concert’s victims.