Police have confirmed they are dealing with a “number of fatalities” and “injuries” after they responded to reports of two loud bangs described as ‘explosions’ at Manchester Arena tonight.
People attending the concert by pop star Ariana Grande fled in panic on hearing the noises – some in tears.
Greater Manchester Police earlier confirmed they are dealing with a “serious incident” and tweeted urging people to “stay away from the area” – and local roads to and from the scene are blocked.
At least 10 police cars, five ambulances and two riot vans have been spotted rushing to the scene – and armed police have been spotted outside the arena.
Twitter users are reporting that they thought it was a ‘gun shot’ or ‘bomb’ – but sources say that it might be a speaker that blew during the performance or even balloons that had popped.
Injuries however are being reported – with several people having been spotted covered in ‘blood’.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY😭 pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— hannah 🐝💧 (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
— aime supports ari (@touchedher) May 22, 2017
TV News reporter Michael Worrell – who lives near the Arena and rushed to the scene after hearing the explosion – said he has spoken to people leaving the scene who claimed debris had fallen on them.
“They heard two loud bangs they thought were coming from the station and I have seen people leaving the building with blood on their shirt,” he said.
The noises were heard at the end of the show – with some reports placing them as having come from near the Victoria Station close to the Arena.
Suzy Mitchell, 26, whose flat is opposite the venue, reported hearing a huge bang which rocked the neighborhood.
She said: “(I) just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments (we’re on the top floor so have perfect view) and everyone was running away in big crowds.
“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. But can’t see anything substantial as of yet except fleeing people and lots of cars.”