At least 22 people – including children have been killed when a bomb exploded at a packed pop concert at Manchester Arena last night.
Witnesses told of nuts and bolts tearing into young gig-goers when the blast was detonated in the foyer area between the arena and the next-door Victoria station just after the Ariana Grande performance ended.Police this morning confirmed that the suicide bomber died inside the arena after an improvised explosive device was detonated.
As the explosion tore through the lobby, terrified youngsters stampeded for the sold-out 21,000-seater stadium’s exits in horrifying scenes caught on mobile phone cameras. Witnesses described the carnage as being ‘like a war zone’.
Gary Walker, from Leeds, was with his wife in the foyer waiting to pick up his two daughters who were at the concert. He said: ‘I was waiting for the kids to come out. We heard the last song, and quite a few people were flooding out and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang, smoke.
‘I felt a bit of pain in my foot and my leg. My wife said, “I need to lie down”. I lay her down, she’d got a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. ‘I was about three metres from the actual explosion. I am surprised I got away so lightly.’
He added his wife was taken out of the building on a table used as a ‘makeshift stetcher’.
His daughter Abigail, who was still in the auditorium with sister Sophie at the time of the explosion, said: ‘I had to make sure I had my sister. I grabbed hold of her and pulled hard.
‘Everyone was running and crying. We were just trying to figure where everyone was. It was absolutely terrifying.’Abigail and Sophie contacted their parents by mobile phone, a moment Mr Walker described as ‘fantastic news’