Explosion at Manchester Concert: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

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Police officers at the Manchester Arena on Monday. A bomb disposal team arrived at the scene early Tuesday as part of the investigation, but there was no confirmation that a bomb or bombs had gone off. Credit Jon Super/Reuters
Manchester-live-briefing-master
Police officers at the Manchester Arena on Monday. A bomb disposal team arrived at the scene early Tuesday as part of the investigation, but there was no confirmation that a bomb or bombs had gone off. Credit Jon Super/Reuters

Nail Bomb Believed Used in Explosion

Witnesses said that the attack appeared to involve the use of a nail bomb. Nail bombs are used to increase the destructive power of explosives, as the shrapnel increases the bomb’s ability to wound its victims. A nail bomb was believed to have been used Monday in an attack at a military hospital in Bangkok that wounded two dozen people.

— Gerry Mullany

‘Everyone Started Crying and Screaming’

Laura Bruce, 18, was with her sister Amy, 25, in one of the Arena’s upper tiers when they heard the explosion. “Everyone below us just turned and ran,” she said. “Because we were higher up, we could not get out for five minutes. When we came out, a man walked past us, just covered in blood.”

Sophie Tedd, 25, had traveled from Darlington to attend the concert with her friend, Jessica Holmes. At the end of the concert, they heard a loud bang, and initially wondered whether “a speaker had blown.”

“Then everyone started crying and screaming,” she said. “Everyone ran out. People were pushing each other out of the way. It took a couple of minutes to get out. The police were outside, telling us to keep running, to run away from Victoria station.”

The Terrorism Threat in Britain

Terrorism remains a big threat in Britain. On March 22, a 52-year-old British man rammed a car into a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, outside Parliament, killing four of them. He then fatally stabbed a police officer guarding Parliament, before he was shot dead by police. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

– Sewell Chan