MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Atleast 25 people were killed
and around 100 wounded in an explosion during a pop concert in the northwest city of Manchester, according to unconfirmed reports.
British police said early Tuesday there were “a number of confirmed fatalities” and injuries after reports of at least one explosion during a pop concert.
A fleet of ambulances was seen rushing to the Manchester Arena venue after the late Monday incident and police said people should avoid the area.
The deaths followed television footage of people leaving the arena, which had been hosting a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande, in a state of alarm and distress.
The first unconfirmed reports of an explosion emerged shortly after 2145 GMT.
The statement issued by Greater Manchester Police that confirmed the deaths did not comment on any possible cause for the apparent explosion.
“Please avoid the area as first responders work tirelessly at the scene,” it said, noting that details of a telephone number for concerned families to call would follow.
There had been reports of a loud bang being heard near the end of the concert, causing people to rush for the exits.
Isabel Hodgins, who had been attending the concert, told Sky News: “Everybody was panicking, there was pushing up the stairs.
Several media outlets reported that there had been two explosions from within the 21,000 capacity venue.
Train services to and from Manchester Victoria Station — located under the Arena — had been cancelled.
The incident caused transport chaos, with traffic jams outside the venue and rail services being cancelled.
“Emergency services are dealing with an incident near Manchester Victoria, resulting in all lines being closed,” operator Northern Railway wrote on its website.