Update, 8:30pm EST: According to Manchester police, via NBC News, the explosion took place in a “public space” outside the concert venue.
US authorities who have been briefed on the situation in the UK say that law enforcement on the ground are increasingly convinced the incident was a terror attack, and that forensic evidence points to the use of a “backpack bomb.”
President Donald Trump has reportedly been briefed on the situation and will issue a statement shortly.
Police in Manchester, England, say that at least 19 are dead and dozens are injured after a “serious incident” at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
Just as the show ended and the lights came up in the arena, concert-goers say they heard a series of explosions, sending hundreds of people running for the exits. Manchester police say they’re treating the situation as a terrorist attack, but officials have been slow to confirm details.
Social media users at the concert were quick to post video and pictures of the scene.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 22, 2017
One user who spoke to local media said that it was mass pandemonium. “It was a huge explosion—you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out of the area.”
Social media users located nearby were able to capture the emergency response. Witnesses say the explosions could be heard blocks away, and outside the stadium.
You can hear the Manchester explosion in this video. Sounds far away and yet audibly substantial. pic.twitter.com/82P1uMtfyd
— neontaster (@neontaster) May 22, 2017
— Suzy Mitchell (@Suzymoonbeam) May 22, 2017
Ambulances out in force heading to Manchester Arena after all lining up on Thompson street fire station. pic.twitter.com/vpAFFUG0MI
— Sam Ward (@SamWardMCR) May 22, 2017
Officials say they’ve cordoned off a large area surrounding Manchester Arena while they secure the scene. “Please AVOID the area as first responders work tirelessly at the scene,” Manchester police tweeted. “Details of a casualty bureau will follow as soon as available.”
Meanwhile, social media has been flooded with photos – people looking for friends and family members who attended the concert but haven’t checked in since the news broke. A few celebrities have also take to Twitter to share their condolences.