ISIS has claimed responsibility for Monday night's bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and wounded 59 others, including 22 children. It is Britain's most deadly terrorist attack since the coordinated public transit bombings of 2005. The attack occurred when a man detonated an improvised explosive device near the entrance of the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena during the concert's finale, catching people as they exited and killing himself in the process. In their statement on the attack, ISIS claimed a much higher death toll and insisted that they had managed to plant explosives throughout this venue, which has not been corroborated by authorities. It has not yet been verified whether the attacker was working alone or as part of a network, but authorities have made at least one arrest of a 23-year-old man in early morning raids in the Manchester neighborhood of Chorlton-Cum-Hardy.
Witnesses describe a scene of utter chaos and pandemonium following the blast. Nicola McGraw Murray, who attended the concert with her 12-year-old daughter, told NBC News that she heard an "incredibly loud bang" and witnessed a "red-orange looking flash." She continued:
"Within seconds, as you can imagine, it was chaos and people were panicking and running to try and get out the door ... We were getting swept with the people crushing to get out and I was terrified my daughter would get crushed. At one point, she was getting dragged away from me but I managed to pull her into me and force her in front of me while trying to direct her to the door and down the steps."
Two victims of the heartbreaking attack have already been named: 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, and 18-year-old Georgina Callander. Ariana Grande, who was unharmed by the attack, has indefinitely suspended her world tour. Early this morning she tweeted:
broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande) 1495507886.0
This story is still very much in progress, and this post will be updated as new details emerge.
Splash image via Getty