What Really Happened At The Ariana Grande Concert In Manchester, England

A concert for the pop star Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena on Monday, May 22nd, 2017, ended in panic, horror and death when an explosion reportedly erupted at 10:35 PM local time, killing and injuring dozens and leaving thousands more in a state of panic.

The blast, which the New York Times believes occurred in an enclosed space connecting the Manchester Arena to Victoria Station, has since launched a "fast-moving investigation" as Greater Manchester Police, England and the entire world tries to understand exactly what happened. Here is what we know so far.

At least 22 people are confirmed dead

According to the BBC, 22 people, including children, died during the explosion, which reportedly took place just after Grande left the stage; an additional 59 people were injured, as confirmed in an updated statement by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police. 

"Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones," the statement reads. "We continue to do all we can to support them. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester."

Hopkins also said the explosion "has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see."

Police are treating it as a terrorist attack

Hopkins also confirmed in his statement that the explosion is being treated as a "terrorist incident." "Our priority is to work with the National Counter Terrorist Policing Network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the individual who carried out this attack," the statement reads. 

Prime Minister Theresa May also said the explosion is "being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," according to the New York Times.

ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack, per ABC News.

BBC News adds that the terror level in the United Kingdom has been at "severe" for almost three years, meaning the threat of an attack is "highly likely."

The identity of the bomber was originally unknown

According to the official police statement, it was believed that the attack "was conducted by one man." "The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network," the statement reads.

The statement also confirmed that the attacker died at the arena. "We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity," the statement continues.

"We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names," the statement adds. "There is a complex and wide ranging investigation underway."

The New York Times added that the police "were investigating reports that the device had used nuts and bolts as shrapnel," according to other officials.

A 23-year-old was arrested in South Manchester on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, in connection with the attack, according to ABC News. The bomber was later identified to be a 22 year old named Salman Abedi, who lived just a few miles from the Arena. According to the New York Times, the British-born Abedi had traveled "multiple times" to his Libya, from where his parents had immigrated.

It was 'like something out of a war film'

The BBC spoke to numerous victims of the explosion, one of whom had been "thrown to the ground by the force of the explosion" while he was waiting for his wife and daughter in the arena's foyer.

"When I get up and look round, there's just bodies everywhere. I reckon 20-30 bodies," a man identified as Andy told the BBC. "I can't say if some of them were dead but they looked dead."

He continued, "They were covered in blood and were really seriously hurt. The first thing I did was I ran into the arena trying to find my family ... [There were] kids and teenagers just lying there screaming."

Another man, named Gary Walker, added: "We heard the last song go and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke. I felt a pain in my foot and my leg."

"I turned around to my wife who was standing at the side of me and she said, 'I need to lay down," he continued. "She's got a stomach wound and possible a broken leg. I've got a bit of a hole in my foot where I've got a bit of shrapnel. I was surprised I got away so lightly."

There was chaos inside the arena

Chaos erupted inside the Manchester Arena after the explosion was heard, as concertgoer Karen Ford described to the BBC (via the New York Times). "Everyone was just getting out of their seats and walking toward the stairs when all of a sudden a huge sound, which sounded like an explosion, went off," she said.

"Everyone tried to push people up the stairs," Ford continued. During the panic, she said that people attempted to push past a woman in the wheelchair and that shoes had been left behind on the floor by people who fled the scene.

"[It was] just chaos," Ford said, adding that people "were being crushed" by the sheer amount of people trying to leave. "I was trying to tell people to calm down," she said.

Ariana Grande was not hurt

Shortly after the explosion occurred, Grande herself confirmed that she was safe, writing on Twitter that the attack had left her "broken." "From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry," she continued. "I don't have words."

TMZ added that Grande was "inconsolable" and "in hysterics" over the realization that her young fans had been hurt or killed by the explosion.

Her world tour has been suspended

In wake of the bombing, TMZ is reporting that Grande has suspended her world tour indefinitely, due to Grande's emotional state and overall safety concerns. TMZ says the tour was scheduled to make stops in London on May 25th, 2017, followed by stops in Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.

"We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act," Grande's manager, Scott Braun, wrote (via TMZ). "We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."