Police Confirm 22 Dead In Explosion At Ariana Grande Concert

"Everyone was in a huge state of panic."

Police in Manchester, England, are confirming 19 people died after an explosion went off during an Ariana Grande concert in the city’s main arena. Authorities are still investigating the incident, which also led to at least 50 people being injured.

It’s still not clear if the explosion at Manchester Arena was accidental or the result of a terror attack. One concertgoer said they heard a loud blast at the end of Grande’s set, just after her encore.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Republic Record

“We were all exiting the venue when, around 10:40, 10:45pm, a huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone,” Majid Khan, 22, told the Guardian. “And we were all trying to flee the arena. Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off.”

Fans rushed to the exit on Trinity Way, which was blocked, leading to a mad scramble for any way out.

“[I] just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments and everyone was running away in big crowds,” Suzy Mitchell, 26, lives across the street from the Arena and told the Press Association. “The bang was so big I heard it from my room which is at the back of the apartment blocks. Currently lots of emergency services going to and from.”

Greater Manchester police have warned people to stay away from the area while the investigate. It’s not believed Grande was harmed in the incident.

Opened in 1995, the Manchester Arena is located immediately north of the city center in Hunts Bank, directly above Manchester Victoria station. With 21,000 seats tt has the biggest capacity of any indoor venue in the United Kingdom, and has hosted top music acts and the sporting events, including the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.