Twenty-two people, including children, have been killed and 59 injured in a suspected suicide attack at Manchester Arena. The blast happened at 22:35 BST on Monday at the end of a concert by the US singer Ariana Grande.
Greater Manchester Police said the lone male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated, the BBC reports.
Police have set up an emergency telephone number in response to the attack. It is: 0161 856 9400.
Sixty ambulances attended the incident and those wounded are now being treated at six hospitals around the city.
Eyewitnesses described seeing metal nuts and bolts among the debris, and spoke about the fear and confusion that gripped those caught up in the events.
The explosion occurred shortly after Ariana Grande left the stage at the arena – the city’s largest indoor venue with a concert capacity of around 21,000.
Grande – a 23-year-old American TV teen actress-turned-singer – has a strong following among teenage girls and children.
The prime minister is to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at around 09:00.
The blast occurred close to the entrance to Victoria train and tram station. The station has been closed and all trains cancelled.
Election campaigning – suspended
British PM Theresa May paid tribute to the 19 victims known to have died and 50 injured, saying the authorities were “working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack”.
The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday but confirmed that all campaigning ahead of the 8 June vote was being postponed.
The pause in Ms May’s campaign was confirmed by the Conservative Party.
President Klaus Iohannis expressed solidarity
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has expressed solidarity with the UK after the blast in Manchester.
“Revolted and saddened by the terrible news from Manchester. Our thoughts are heading towards the victims and their families, Solidarity with the UK,” Iohannis on Tuesday on Twitter.
PM Grindeanu: Our thoughts are with the families of the victims
PM Sorin Grindeanu has also expressed solidarity with the victims in a post on Facebook. “All our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives and with the injured ones following the blast in Manchester. The Romanian Embassy in London is in constant contact with the British authorities to find out is there are Romanians among the victims,” the Premier wrote.
Romanian Foreign Ministry on alert
The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informs that the Romanian embassy in the UK has undertaken steps to local authorities to obtain information regarding the circumstances of the incident in Manchester and on the victims’ nationality. A MAE communiqué informs that the embassy is ready to grant consular assist if needed. It also reads that Romanians in the UK can request assistance to the following telephone numbers: 0044 20 76029833; 0044 20 76027328; 0044 20 76036694; 0044 20 76025193; ; 0044 20 7603 0572; 0044 20 7602 2065, or on the emergency number 0044 7738716335.
MAE expresses deep regret and conveys condolences for the loss of lives and hope in speedy recovery of the injured persons in the blast in Manchester. MAE expresses full solidarity with the British people.
Princess Margareta: We need to remain solidary in the firm defence of our common values and freedoms
We need to remain solidary in the firm defence of our common values and freedoms, says Princess Margareta, the Romanian Crown Custodian, on Tuesday after the attack on Manchester.
“We found out with deep sadness and horror about the murderous attack committed last night in Manchester. The entire Royal Family of Romania has the soul together with all the families who have lost their loved ones and with those who suffer from these atrocities. We all need to remain solidary in the firm defence of our common values and freedoms,” Princess Margareta’s message reads.