British Police Confirm 19 People Dead After Reported Explosion At Manchester Arena

May 22, 2017
Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England,

Emergency services personnel speak to people outside Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Monday night. . Several people have died following an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police and witnesses said. The singer was not injured, according to a representative.

Peter Byrne/PA via AP

Police in Manchester, England, confirm 19 people dead at Manchester Arena following an apparent explosion after a concert by Ariana Grande. About 50 people have been injured.

The statement says police will treat the incident as a terrorist attack until they know otherwise.

Authorities also say they conducted a "precautionary controlled explosion," and the thing they had been concerned about turned out to be abandoned clothing and not a suspicious item.

The management of the Manchester Arena issued a statement, saying the incident happened outside the facility.

The BBC reports witnesses heard an explosion, which was followed by a chaotic scene with audience members running for the exits.

Reuters reports that emergency services are responding to the reports of "a serious incident." Greater Manchester Police are advising people to "avoid the area."

A spokesman for the pop singer said that she was "okay," according to Reuters.

One witness, Josh Elliott, told the BBC Radio 5 Live that "A bang went off and everyone stopped and screamed. ... We basically hit the deck," he said. "It was bedlam ... it was horrific. We got up when we thought it was safe and got out as quickly as possible. People were just crying and in tears. ... Police cars were everywhere."

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. NPR will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. . For updates on this story, go to npr.org.

Story source: NPR