Police arrest 23-year-old man in South Manchester over attack
Blast is worst terror attack to hit Britain since July 2005
Number for those concerned about missing: 0800 096 0095
The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the Manchester suicide bombing that killed 22 people - including an eight-year-old girl - in an explosion that tore through fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester.
As the first arrest was made in connection with the attack, Prime Minister Theresa May disclosed that the authorities believe they know the identity of the man who carried out the atrocity.
Unconfirmed reports from CBS News in America identified 23-year-old Salman Abedi as a suspect in the bombing.
Mrs May said "many" children were among the dead and 59 injured in the bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday night as thousands of young people streamed from the venue.
Her statement came moments before police disclosed that a 23-year-old man was arrested in South Manchester on Tuesday morning in connection with the bombing.
Meanwhile, police confirmed that a controlled explosion had been carried out in connection with the attack at an address in the Fallowfield area of the city.
The first confirmed fatality was 18-year-old sixth form student Georgina Callender, an Ariana Grande "superfan" from Lancashire who met her idol in 2015 and was excited to see her on stage last night.
An eight-year-old girl, Saffie Rose Roussos, was also confirmed as having been killed after becoming separated from her mother and sister.
Meanwhile, relatives of at least 13 people missing after the attack - including an eight-year-old girl - have launched frantic searches for their loved-ones.
Victims earlier told how an improvised explosive device carried by the attacker caused them to be thrown by the blast, which scattered nuts and bolts across the floor of the foyer area.
It is the worst terror attack to hit Britain since the July 2005 suicide bomb attacks in central London in which 52 people were killed and came four years to the day Lee Rigby was murdered by Islamist extremists.
Mrs May said that the attacker deliberately chose the place where he could cause "maximum carnage" when he detonated the bomb.
Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee, Mrs May condemned the "cowardice" of the attacker and hailed those who rushed to help, who had shown "the spirit of Britain ... a spirit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken".
She vowed: "The terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail."
Police were called to reports of an explosion at 10.33pm, shortly after Grande, the US singer, had finished her performance as thousands of people streamed out of the Arena.
More than 240 calls were made to the emergency services, with 60 ambulances flooding the area and more than 400 police officers deployed as part of the operation.
The General Election campaign has been suspended in the wake of the terror attack, which the Queen said had left the "whole nation" shocked by the "act of barbarity".
Police have appealed for concert-goers and witnesses to provide police with footage from the scene if they believe it can assist the probe - as well as any dashcam footage taken in Manchester city centre between 8pm and 11pm.
Anyone with concerns over loved ones can contact 0800 096 0095 for assistance.
Duke of Cambridge sends his thoughts to Manchester
The Duke of Cambridge has released this statement on the official Kensington Palace Twitter page:
A message from The Duke of Cambridge following last night's attack in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/g8EWtuC2A8
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 23, 2017
Theresa May pays tribute to emergency services
Speaking to the BBC after her meeting in Manchester, Mrs May gave her reaction to the first young victims of the attack being identified.
She said: "It is an absolutely barbaric attack that has taken place, to cut off young lives in this way, and it is absolutely devastating and our thoughts and prayers must be with their families and friends at this horrendous tragedy that has taken place.
"I'm very clear that the police and the security services have the resources to ensure that they continue their investigation.
"I would like to thank all of those involved, the police and other emergency services, for the amazing way that they responded to this terrible incident.
"I've just been hearing of police officers who were off duty turning up, wanting to ensure that they could contribute, that they could help.
"So many people have helped. That's the great spirit of Manchester, the spirit of Britain, and one thing I'm clear is that the terrorists will not prevail."
Mrs May said the police and security services were working "to identify whether there was a wider group of people involved in this particular incident".
Isil responsibility claim 'not verified'
Islamic State's claim it is behind the Manchester bombing has not been verified in the United States, intelligence chiefs have said.
The terror organisation, known as IS and Isis, claims responsibility for "virtually every attack", US director of national intelligence Dan Coats said.
He told the senate armed services committee the atrocity was "tragic" and a reminder of the real threat faced by the West and its allies.
Mr Coats said:
Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack in Manchester, although they claim responsibility for virtually every attack.
We have not verified yet the connection. We spent a significant amount of time discussing threats to our respective homelands.
It's a tragic situation that we see all too much of in countries around the world, particularly our allies.
Once again, it reminds us that this threat is real, it is not going away and needs significant attention to do everything we can to protect our people from these kinds of attacks.
Queen to hold one minute silence
Tonight's garden party at Buckingham Palace will begin with a one minutes silence at 4pm, observed by the Queen, members of the Royal Family, and guests, The Telegraph's royal correspondent Hannah Furness reports.
'All I could see was everyone was armed'
Student Mussab Amari said he was in bed when he was awoken by a loud bang around noon and went to investigate as police raided a flat in his block on Carlton Road in Whalley Range.
Mr Amari, 22, said:
I was asleep and I heard a bang so I opened a window and all I could see is everyone was armed and everywhere was surrounded.
I heard a bang but I'm not sure what it is, was it the door breaking or they throw something? I came downstairs. I asked the police officer, he said I can't say nothing now.
I said to him can I go back inside because I've got college now and he said, 'No, for your own safety you have to stay outside'.
I just panicked when I heard that bang because I was asleep.
I was looking at the news last night so as soon as I seen rifles and that, that came into my head straight away.
All I could see was everyone was armed. I didn't see them get anyone, didn't see them take anything out. Dogs went in...
Mr Amari said police stood guard around one flat in the block but he did not know the person who lives there.
He added: "I don't know the guy. I've never seen him."
Further down the street armed police appeared to be having a briefing stood by police cars, a hundred yards from a growing army of press, including correspondents from across the world, gathered at the entrance to the block of flats.
Justin Welby: There is more than unites us than divides us
Speaking after interfaith prayers in Manchester Cathedral, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, posted on Twitter:
— Justin Welby ن (@JustinWelby) May 23, 2017
Busker sings songs of defiance after Manchester terror attack
Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens was packed with workers on their lunch break listening to a busker singing songs of defiance.
Hundreds of Mancunians sat in the sun-drenched central square eating lunch and listening to the musician, who sang songs such as All You Need Is Love by the Beatles.
The singer even adapted the lyrics of Bob Marley's Everything's Gonna Be Alright to include a reference to the 1996 IRA bomb that struck the city.
"We were all right in the 90s and came back stronger," he sang.
Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens packed with workers on lunch as a busker plays "All You Need Is Love" and "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" pic.twitter.com/GH1xp9d4IC
— Arj Singh (@singharj) May 23, 2017
Theresa May meets police chief in Manchester
Prime Minister Theresa May has been pictured with Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, this afternoon as she visits the city to show her support following last night's terror attack.
Speaking earlier after chairing a Cobra meeting, Mrs May said the "callous" attack was "among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom".
Prince Charles: Appalling atrocity... fills us with intense sadness
Prince Charles has released a statement in the wake of the Manchester terror attack on behalf of him and his wife, Camilla. He said:
"My wife and I were so profoundly shocked to learn of the truly dreadful event which took place in Manchester last night.
"That such a large number of people, including so many young concert-goers, lost their lives or have suffered so much in this appalling atrocity is deeply distressing and fills us with intense sadness.
"Words cannot adequately express what so many families must be feeling at this incredibly difficult time and our most heartfelt sympathy is with all those who have so tragically lost loved ones or who have been affected in some way."
Police appeal for dashcam footage taken in Manchester city centre
Police investigating the Manchester Arena attack are appealing to anyone who was in Manchester city centre between 8pm and 11pm and has dashcam footage to email it as a matter of urgency to https://ukpoliceimageappeal.co .uk/
Manchester Arena: 'We've been inspired by the way the people of Manchester rallied round'
Manchester Arena has posted an updated statement on Twitter praising the way the "people of this great city of Manchester" have rallied round after the attack:
Tim Farron's children's friends attended Ariana Grande concert
Tim Farron has described the Manchester terror attack as “beyond wicked” as he revealed his own children had friends who attended the Ariana Grande gig which was targeted by a lone terrorist.
Mr Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said he talked to his children about what had happened over breakfast this morning.
He said the attack and the fact that his children’s friends had attended had a “massive impact” on them. Click here to read more.
Video: Mancunians 'stick together when it counts'
AJ Singh, a Manchester taxi driver who offered his services for free to those affected by city's suspected terror attack, says Mancunians "stick together when it counts". Click here for more.
Pope Francis saddened by 'barbaric' Manchester attack
Pope Francis was deeply saddened by the "barbaric" attack in Manchester, the Vatican said in a message of condolence.
"His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester," read a telegram sent in his name.
"And he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence.
"He commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel, and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died.
"Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God's blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation."
Suspect named as Salman Abedi - reports
Unconfirmed reports from CBS News in America identified Salman Abedi as a suspect in the bombing.
Controlled explosion at address after bombing
Greater Manchester Police said a controlled explosion has taken place at an address in Fallowfield as part of the investigation into the Manchester bomb attack.
Rosemary Ward, 21, who lives nearby, said: "There was a big bang and the whole house shook. I just picked my child up - she was screaming.
"Everyone started running out of their houses. It was scary. There were lots of police here already - they had machine guns.
"We heard that 22 people had been arrested in a house down there. I live right around the corner. I'm just worried about my child.
"I was supposed to go into town but I'm not going to now. People are crying because they want to get their kids out of school."
Officers also executed a search warrant at a property in Whalley Range, the force added.
Donald Trump: Americans stand with people of UK after 'wanton and depraved' attack
President Donald Trump told Theresa May that "Americans stand with the people of the United Kingdom" in a phone call in which he offered US assistance for the investigation into the Manchester concert attack.
The call came shortly after Mr Trump denounced those responsible for the atrocity as "evil losers" and called for the ideology behind the outrage to be "completely obliterated".
The US president was one of a number of world leaders the Prime Minister spoke to by phone after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall.
We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/X6fUUxxYXE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2017
The White House said Mr Trump and Mrs May agreed the targeting of teenage children enjoying a concert was "particularly wanton and depraved".
And a spokesman said: "The president reassured the Prime Minister that Americans stand with the people of the United Kingdom and that our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism. He offered American aid in the United Kingdom's investigation and vowed to continue the mutual fight against terrorism."
Twelve children under 16 among the 59 casualties
Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the terror attack at Manchester Arena, David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service has said.
Witness: 'Everybody was just running out of fear for their lives'
Standing close to the scene still wearing their Ariana Grande jumpers from last night's concert, Glasgow students Conor McCormick and Christopher Smith recounted the terrifying moment the bomb went off, reports Joe Shute.
"She had just sung the last song - Dangerous Woman - and walked off stage and we heard this massive bang," said 18-year-old Conor.
"You felt it. Everybody was silent for a moment looking in the same direction then you just heard everybody scream on the upper tiers and begin to run. It was complete panic, everybody was just running out of fear for their lives.
"Outside everybody was screaming and crying and looking for their kids. One woman was walking around with her toddler in her arms shouting for her daughter.
"It was just horrible. Cowardly is the only word I can think of. Whoever did this knew the sort of people that would be there."
After handing out coffees to police officers and casualties he invited a mother, father and their two young daughters from the Isle of Man to stay at his flat in Salford.
He and his girlfriend Katie made sandwiches for the family then gave up their bedroom and slept on the sofa for the night.
"They seemed really in shock and were telling me about a woman they saw lying on the ground with glass in her leg.
"The girls were only about 11 or 12 and I don't think the enormity of what they had seen has sunk in yet. When I heard what had happened I just wanted to do something to help."
Latest victim to be named is eight-year-old girl
An eight-year-old girl, Saffie Rose Roussos, has been confirmed as having been killed in after becoming separated from her mother and sister. Click here to read more.
Terror group threatens more attacks after Manchester bombing
Isil said in a statement published on its social media channels that "one of the caliphate's soldiers placed bombs among the crowds," and threatened more attacks.
Breaking: Islamic State claims responsibility for attack
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has claimed responsibility for the Manchester concert bombing.
Emotional Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham: Terrorists will never beat us
Andy Burnham has issued a moving statement claiming terrorists will "never beat us" following the attack at Manchester Arena.
The former Labour MP and new Mayor of the city said the "best response" to the attack, which has so far claimed the lives of 22 people, is to work together and support each other and carry on with day to day life.
Man Utd players hold minute's silence
Manchester United players have held a minute's silence in honour of the victims of the attack at Manchester Arena before a first team training session, ahead of the Uefa Europa League Final.
MI5 chief condemns 'disgusting' attack
Andrew Parker, the Director General of MI5, has condemned the terrorist attack in Manchester as "disgusting" and said the security service remains "relentlessly focused, in numerous current operations, on doing all we can to combat the scourge of terrorism and keep the country safe".
Statement from the Queen: The whole nation has been shocked by act of barbarity
The Queen has expressed her "deepest sympathy" to all those affected by the Manchester bomb attack, adding that "the whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury". She said in a statement:
"The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
"I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.
"I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.
"And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity."
Meanwhile, a Buckingham Palace garden party this afternoon will still go ahead, but the Queen is expected to observe a minute's silence when she arrives.
Vigil to be held in Manchester at 6pm
A vigil to the victims of the Manchester attack is to be held in the city's Albert Square at 6pm.
It comes as the Cannes Film Festival announced a minute's silence. The world-famous movie event has been taking place in the south of France amid tight security in the wake of terrorist attacks in the country.
In a statement, the Festival said: "The Festival de Cannes would like to express its horror, anger and immense sadness following the attack on the public and the city of Manchester last night.
"This is yet another attack on culture, youth and joyfulness, on our freedom, generosity and tolerance, all things that the Festival and those who make it possible, the artists, professionals and spectators, hold dear."
It added: "The Festival de Cannes invites all festival-goers to show their solidarity with the victims, their families and the British people by observing a minute's silence this Tuesday 23 May at 3pm."
The Hollywood Reporter said a champagne reception due to be held on Tuesday in Cannes to celebrate Pixar's Cars 3 was cancelled following the attack.
Breaking: Man, 23, arrested in connection with bombing
A 23-year-old man has been arrested in South Manchester in connection with the Manchester bomb attack, Greater Manchester Police said.
A spokesman said: "With regards to the ongoing investigation into last night’s horrific attack at the Manchester arena, we can confirm we have arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester. "
'They should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives'
Here's more from Mrs May outside Downing Street a few minutes ago:
"All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice - deliberately targeting innocent defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.
"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.
"But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future - to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence, and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack to seek them out and bring them to justice."
'Cowardice of attacker met by bravery of people of Manchester'
Mrs May added that the "cowardice of the attacker was met by the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester."
Theresa May: This was a callous terrorist attack
Speaking outside Downing Street, Theresa May said: "It is now beyond doubt that Manchester has fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack, an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation."
Mrs May added that the Manchester attack was "among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom."
The Prime Minister added that the security services believe they know the identity of the bomber.
Half the victims taken to one hospital were children
A spokesman for Manchester Royal Infirmary, which sits on the same site as Royal Manchester Children's hospital, confirmed that the casualties that were sent there were divided roughly in half between adult and children's units, reports Henry Bodkin.
It is unclear if this relates to those who were killed or injured.
The hospitals are two of the eight where victims of the suicide bombing were taken.
Attack comes 21 years after IRA bombed Arndale centre
The suicide attack on Manchester is not the first time terrorists have targeted the city, reports Jack Maidment.
The heart of Manchester’s shopping district was razed to the ground by a blast in June 1996 when the Provisional IRA planted 3,300 lbs of homemade explosives in a lorry, parking what was the biggest bomb detonated in Britain since the Second World War on Corporation Street.
The following explosion was devastating but, remarkably, not fatal. However, it did leave more than 200 people injured, including some a quarter of a mile away who were hit by flying glass.
The Arndale shopping centre bore the brunt of the bombing, which caused more than £500 million worth of damage to shops and commercial premises.
A phoned warning from the IRA allowed the area to be evacuated. Click here for more.
Video: Panic as child goes missing for hours after attack
One woman cried as she described how her niece was missing for several hours after becoming separated from her friends at the Ariana Grande concert.
The girl, who was later found safe, was among several dozen lost children after the attack.
Who has attended the Cobra meeting?
Present at the hour-long Cobra meeting were Mrs May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and Health Minister Philip Dunne.
Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham and Security Minister Ben Wallace joined the meeting by video-link from Manchester.
Also present were representatives of the police, including the UK's most senior counter-terrorism officer, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, as well as security agencies and Whitehall officials.
Theresa May expected to travel to Manchester after chairing Cobra
We are expecting Theresa May to give a statement outside Downing Street shortly after chairing a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee. It is then though the Prime Minister will travel to Manchester.
Victims treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester
In addition to the 22 confirmed fatalities, the latest injury toll is 59 people who are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "We continue to do all we can to support them."
Minute by minute, how the attack unfolded
Muslim Council of Britain condemns 'horrific' attack
The Muslim Council of Britain said the Manchester attack was "horrific" and "criminal".
Secretary general Harun Khan said: "May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.
"I pay tribute to the police and emergency services who have worked valiantly to save lives last night. They were helped by civilians who rushed in to offer their support.
"I urge all those in the region and around the country to pull together to support those affected."
Dozens of people offered refuge by hotels
Around 60 people caught up in the terror attack were reported to have been taken in by Holiday Inn hotels near the arena.
Holiday Inn was unable to confirm the number of people it was helping, but said it had supported them throughout the night by offering "immediate refuge".
A spokeswoman said: "The hotel teams at Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre - Arena have both been working closely with the emergency services throughout the night, supporting members of the public who needed immediate refuge.
"The hotels are fully operational and continue to offer support."
'It should have been the best day of her life... and it turned into the worst'
John Young was leaving the concert with his wife and daughter slightly early in an attempt to beat the traffic when the explosion happened.
They were on the steps at the arena's main entrance when they heard a "massive bang", he said, calling the atmosphere "surreal".
In the initial aftermath outside, rumours were flying around over whether the noise was an exploded speaker or a dropped microphone, he told Sky News.
He told the broadcaster: "There were young children, terrified, crying their eyes out, I saw an elderly man shaking, there were all sorts but nobody seemed to know what had happened.
"My daughter was in absolute bits last night. No nine-year-old girl should see anything like that. It should have been the best day of her life, and it turned into the worst one really.
"I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't said 'let's leave slightly early'."
From Donald Trump to Ariane Grande - reaction to the Manchester attack
Dean of Manchester condemns 'despicable' attack as he holds prayers near scene
The Dean of Manchester, Rogers Govender, described the attack as "despicable and pure evil" and held prayers at the police cordon on Deansgate.
He said he normally held prayers at the city's cathedral in the morning, but he could not get to the building which is inside the sealed-off zone, between the cordon and the arena.
Mr Govender said: "That 22 young people have lost their lives, I think that is just despicable and pure evil. We're all feeling absolutely devastated.
"And yet, at the same time, we need to be strong for others as well and to make sure that this terrible atrocity does not in any way stop us as Mancunians from going about our daily work and daily business. And, certainly, to ensure that it does not divide us in any way."
Mr Govender praised the bravery of emergency services workers and said he would open the cathedral for a vigil once the police let him in.
Extra police for London in wake of 'utterly appalling' Manchester attack
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has announced that extra police officers have been put on duty in London in the wake of the "utterly appalling" attack in Manchester. She said in a statement:
“This is an utterly appalling attack. My thoughts are with the people of Manchester as they try to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in their city last night. Our colleagues from Greater Manchester Police and their emergency services showed huge bravery as they ran towards the confusion and danger.
“We are providing every possible support through the counter terrorism network as investigators work tirelessly to understand what has happened.
“Here in the Capital we put extra police officers on duty as Londoners started their journeys into work. This will continue for as long as it is needed, and the mix of armed and unarmed officers are there to reassure.
“Looking ahead to the weekend - a normal busy and vibrant weekend in our city - we are working with all those planning events to make sure we are doing all we can.
“Terrorists seek to spread fear and undermine our way of life. We must work together to stop that from happening. If you have suspicions, tell us; if you see something that concerns you, report it. Together we can protect London.”
Donald Trump: Manchester attack perpetrators are 'evil losers'
Donald Trump addressed the Manchester attack this morning, calling the perpetrators "evil losers", reports Raf Sanchez.
Speaking from the West Bank in Bethlehem during his first world tour as president of the United States, he said he would not call terrorists "monsters" because "they would like that term". Mr Trump said:
"We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the UK. So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life.
"I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great term. I will call them from now on losers. Because that’s what they are. They’re losers.
"They’re losers, just remember that. This is what I’ve spent these last few days talking about in my trip overseas. Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed.
"The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out of our society forever.
"This wicked ideology must be obliterated and I mean completely obliterated. And the innocent life must be protected."
Man Utd's Uefa game in Stockholm to go ahead
Uefa has confirmed that tomorrow night's Europa League football final, involving Manchester United, will go ahead as planned in Stockholm despite last night's bomb blast at Manchester Arena.
Heightened security measures are already in place for the event following the recent attack in the Swedish capital. Manchester United, who earlier tweeted their shock and sympathies to the victims and their families, travel there later today.
Meanwhile, England Netball, which is due to use the Manchester Arena next month, has temporarily suspended tickets sales for its June 10-11 Vitality Netball Superleague Final Four event at the venue.
But the organisation has no intention of moving the event provided the arena is re-opened before June 10.
A statement read: "Following the tragic events at Manchester Arena last night, England Netball has chosen to temporarily suspend ticket sales for the Final Four.
"We will release a further update in due course, for now our thoughts and condolences are with those in Manchester."
Philip Hammond: Thoughts are with victims and their families
Chancellor Philip Hammond, arriving for a summit of EU finance ministers in Brussels, said: "I have woken up this morning to the terrible news of this barbaric attack in Manchester.
"It is, as far as we know, a terrorist incident. We are treating it as such. My thoughts are with the victims and their families and the people of Manchester and I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have done a great job throughout the night and are continuing to work at the scene."
Mr Hammond was not attending a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee, but said he would return to London at lunchtime.
Facebook activates safety check feature
Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can let loved ones know they are safe, and an emergency helpline, 0161 856 9400, has been set up for those searching for loved ones.
What is the Facebook Safety Check? Here is everything you need to know.
Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.
Video: Witness describes panic after Manchester attack
Video: Ariana Grande on stage before suicide bomb attack
Video footage posted on Instagram shows Ariana Grande on stage last night shortly before the suicide blast rocked the Manchester Arena:
A post shared by Nick (@mrnickynack) on May 22, 2017 at 2:56pm PDT
Brendan Cox: So much pain and so pointless
Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox, wrote on Twitter:
Thinking of every family whose lives have been destroyed today by a cowardly hate filled attack. So much pain and so pointless.
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) May 23, 2017
He added: "The pain these attacks inflict is profound & real, & it lasts long after the headlines have moved on."
He added: "Britain will respond as it always does under attack; with love for the bereaved, unity & resolve. They will not change us. They will not win."
Jean-Claude Juncker: Manchester attack breaks my heart
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, said in a statement:
"It was with great sadness and profound shock that I learnt of the brutal attack that struck Manchester.
It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instil fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.
"I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to Prime Minister May and to the British people.
Today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life.
"They underestimate ours and your resilience – these cowardly attacks will only strengthen our commitment to work together to defeat the perpetrators of such vile acts."
Donald Tusk, the European Council President, is among the other European officials to react to the attack:
My heart is in Manchester this night. Our thoughts are with the victims.
— Donald Tusk (@donaldtusk) May 23, 2017
Parents frantically search for missing children after concert attack
A desperate mother has spoken of her frantic efforts to find her teenage daughter, who has not been in touch since the Manchester Arena terror attack.
Charlotte Campbell last heard from 15-year-old Olivia shortly before Ariana Grande came on stage on Monday night.
The teenager is among several teenagers missing after the blast.
Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
"I last had contact with her at half past eight last night. She was at the concert, she'd just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.
"She was with her friend Adam - Adam was found about half an hour ago, he's in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet.
"Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her. I've got friends out looking for her, I've got people I don't even know out looking for her.
"I've got people messaging me saying 'Look, we've got her photo and we're out looking for her - we'll get in contact with you if we see her'. I'm just hearing nothing - her phone's dead."
She posted a picture of her daughter on Facebook saying "please share my daughter is still missing with no news on her".
Ms Campbell said social media had been "wonderful" and thanked those who were helping with the search.
Donald Trump kept updated on Manchester attack
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump, who is currently on a visit to Israel, is being updated on the situation in Manchester:
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) May 23, 2017
Isil supporters celebrate bombing of Manchester Arena
There has not been an official claim of responsibility for the Manchester attack from any terror group but supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) celebrated the bombing on social media, reports Raf Sanchez, Middle East Correspondent.
Isil supporters hailed the bombing as a victory against "the crusaders" of the West. In one video an English-speaking supporter of Isil held up a home made sign with the word "Manchester" and the date of the attack.
"This is only the beginning. The lions of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham are beginning to attack all the crusaders," the masked man said in the short video.
This video produced to link # Manchester to Islamic State was posted a short while ago to a pro-Islamic State Telegram channel pic.twitter.com/H5psdpRXoC
— Michael S. Smith II (@MichaelSSmithII) May 23, 2017
Other Isil supproters said the attack was revenge for the UK's involvement in the bombing campaign against Isil in Iraq and Syria. "It seems that the bombs of the British airforce over children of Mosul and Raqqa has just come back to Manchester," wrote one user.
Downing Street flags flying at half mast
As Theresa May begins to chair a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee, flags are this morning flying at half mast over Downing Street.
Flags have been lowered to half-mast in Downing Street in honour of the victims of the Manchester bombing pic.twitter.com/j9kykdntRg
— Sam Lister (@sam_lister_) May 23, 2017
Andy Burnham: Manchester will pull together and will stand strong
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: "London pulled together and in the exactly same way Manchester, in it's own unique way, will pull together and will stand strong and stand together.
"That's what we are. That's what we do. They won't win.
"We are grieving, we are hurt today but as I said at the beginning we are strong and this city has dealt with difficult days in the past and we will do so now."
Latest police statement after 'most horrific' attack on Manchester
Mr Hopins described the attack as the "most horrific" incident ever to hit Manchester. He said:
This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.
"Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives.
"Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones.
"We continue to do all we can to support them."
Mr Hopkins said a "fast-moving investigation" had established the attack was conducted by one man, although detectives are working to establish if he was "was acting alone or as part of a network".
"The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena.
"We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated, causing this atrocity."
Death toll now 22
Twenty two people were killed and 59 people were injured in the Manchester Arena attack on Monday night, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said. Mr Hopkins said the lone male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated.
More police in London today
The Metropolitan police announced that there would be more officers on the streets of the capital following the Manchester blast.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 23, 2017
Ukip suspends electoral campaign
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said: "Just woken to the terrible news in the heart of my constituency, Manchester. My prayers and thoughts are with those affected. Stay strong.
"In light of what's happened I have suspended the Ukip General Election campaign."
In light of what's happened I have suspended the UKIP General Election campaign
— Paul Nuttall (@paulnuttallukip) 23 May 2017
How events unfolded
Witness 'saw bolts' at Manchester terror scene
An injured man describes seeing nuts and bolts at the scene of an explosion at Manchester Arena.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Manchester explosion was 'barbaric attack'
This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims who have been affected, and I know the whole country will share that view.
I’d like to pay tribute to the emergency services who have worked throughout the night professionally and effectively; they have done an excellent job.
Later on this morning I will be attending Cobra, chaired by the prime minister, to collect more information, to find out more, about this particular attack, and I can’t comment any more on that at the moment.
The public should remain alert but not alarmed. If they have anything to report, they should approach the police.
But I have two further things to add.
The great city of Manchester has been affected by terrorism before. Its spirit was not bowed; its community continued.
This time it has been a particular attack on the most vulnerable in our society. Its intention was to sow fear; its intention is to divide. But it will not succeed.
'Terrorism is something we should not tolerate'
Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo:
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, has condemned the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester and reiterated Japan's commitment to fighting terrorism.
"Terrorism is something we should not tolerate, for any reason, and we are resolved to fighting against it", Mr Abe told a meeting at his office on Tuesday.
Mr Abe said he had spoken with Theresa May and stated that Japan stands by Britain, Kyodo News reported.
He added that the Group of Seven nations will use the upcoming summit in Italy to reaffirm their determination to combat terrorism.
James Corden pays emotional tribute
James Corden, presenting The Late Late Show, said: "It shocks me every time we hear this sort of news that attacks like this can happen, but especially when there will be so many children at this concert tonight.
"And I'm telling you, a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core.
"And if it was even possible, the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the everyone in Manchester tonight."
He said viewers in the US would have heard of the city for "many wonderful things", including its two leading football teams and bands such as Oasis and Joy Division.
"It was the birthplace of the leader of the suffragettes. It's the home of the inventor of the first computer. It's a place full of comedy and curries and character," he added.
Ariana Grande's 'last song' at concert
This is, according to Twitter accounts, the final song Ariana Grande sung during her concert. Moments later there was an explosion killing at least 19 people:
— pray for manchester (@lnandelrey) May 22, 2017
Corbyn also suspending election campaigning
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has said that, having spoken to Theresa May, the two have agreed that election campaigning should be suspended.
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) May 23, 2017
China sends 'deep condolences'
The Telegraph's Neil Connor reports:
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, has expressed his “deep condolences” in a telegram to Queen Elizabeth after the deadly blast in Manchester, China Correspondent Neil Connor reports from Beijing.
Mr Xi “Expressed deep condolences to the innocent victims, and sincere sympathy to the injured and relatives of the dead,” China’s state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said.
“The Chinese people and British people are standing side by side firmly during this difficult time,” the Chinese leader added.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) May 23, 2017
Police set up help centre at Etihad Stadium
Anyone who needs help or assistance after last night's incident at Manchester Arena help is available at the Etihad Stadium access Gate 11
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
NHS staff at Manchester conference offer to help
Health workers visiting Manchester have offered to pitch in to help care for those injured in an explosion at a concert in the city, PA reports.
NHS staff attending a conference in the city offered support to local hospitals treating the wounded.
North West Ambulance NHS Trust sent 60 ambulances to the scene of the suspected terror attack.
It said that 59 casualties had been taken to nearby hospitals and a number of walking wounded were treated at the scene.
Greater Manchester Police said that the injured were being treated at six local hospitals.
Kirsty Withers, a theatre clinical manager at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay (UHMB) NHS Foundation Trust, offered assistance to Manchester Royal Infirmary online, writing: "We are visiting for a health conference from morecambe bay trust tomorrow 3 Theatre ODPs available if needed."
Stuart Hosking-Durn, an emergency preparedness, resilience and response professional with UHMB, also used Twitter to offer help, posting: "do you need extra hands, we have staff in Manchester, have ID and can attend."
Mancunian GP Faizan Awan tweeted: "If you need any help doing clinical work either on wards or minors, let me know. Can be with you in 10 minutes."
'Everyone just started running towards us screaming and crying'
"I just heard this massive bang and then everyone just started running towards us screaming and crying. Everyone just trampled over us just to get out," Jessica, a concert-goer, told BBC radio.
Jessica was among the 21,000 people who had just watched the American pop sensation, who is particularly popular among teenagers, perform in the northern English city when there was a "huge bang".
"Everybody was panicking," Isabel Hodgins, an actress who had been attending the concert told Sky News.
"The corridor was full, it smelled of burning, there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving".
Additional officers on duty this morning
— BTP (@BTP) May 23, 2017
Justin Trudeau tweets
Canadians are shocked by the news of the horrific attack in Manchester tonight. Please keep the victims & their families in your thoughts.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 23, 2017
New video of moment of explosion
— ABC News (@ABC) May 23, 2017
Security remains high in central Manchester
New York authorities step up security
New York authorities have stepped up security at sensitive sites after a deadly blast at a concert in Britain, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets, AFP reports.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was ordering additional patrols at "high-profile locations" including airports and the subway "out of an abundance of caution" after the assault at the show by US pop star Ariana Grande.
"This apparent act of terrorism, targeting a concert attended by thousands of teenagers and young people, is an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings," Cuomo said in a statement.
"An attack on one is an attack on all, and New York stands in solidarity with the British people and our friends around the world against the forces of hate and terror," he said.
The moment Manchester Arena erupts in panic
Taylor Swift pays tribute to victims
My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I'm sending all my love.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 23, 2017
Ariana Grande 'broken'
US pop star Ariana Grande has said she is "broken" following the suspected terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, adding: "From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry."
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Isil supporters 'celebrate Manchester attack'
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) May 23, 2017
"Pls help me...": Frantic parents hunt for missing kids
Desperate parents and friends are uses social media to search for loved ones, Reuters reports, with images of happy-looking teenagers posted next to pleas for help.
"Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde-haired girl with flowers in her hair.
Another Twitter user called Erin:P urged people to help him find his sister: "She's wearing a pink sweatshirt and blue jeans. Her name is Whitney."
The blast rocked the foyer of the Manchester Arena as thousands of young fans and parents streamed out of the venue after the show by the U.S. singer, whose fan base is made up largely of teenagers and pre-teens.
A third Twitter account, Deplorable MrsK, posted a picture of a young man smiling and wearing a suit, saying: "My son was in the Manchester Arena today. He's not picking up my call! Please...."
CNN cites sources as saying suicide bomber is likely reason for the blast
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 23, 2017
Latest police statement
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Nigel Farage: attack was directed at children
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: "The Manchester terrorist attack was directed at children. It's going to be a very big shock for the UK."
Sebastian Gorka, the British Trump aide, suggests possible link to Lee Rigby attack
Sebastian Gorka, the British deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, has suggested a possible link to the Lee Rigby murder four years ago.
NOTE: Manchester explosion happens on 4th anniversary of the public murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Dates matter to Jihadi terrorists. pic.twitter.com/dRhyaWN9AV
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) May 23, 2017
'No indication of threat to US music venues'
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was closely monitoring the situation in Manchester.
The department said in a statement it had "no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States".
"However, the public may experience increased security in and around public places and events as officials take additional precautions," the statement said.
Theresa May to chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee at 9am this morning
Theresa May will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday following the Manchester explosion which is being treated as an "appalling terrorist attack".
The Cobra meeting is expected to take place at around 9am, Downing Street said.
Celebrities pay tribute to Manchester victims
Thoughts with all those affected by the terrible attack at Manchester Arena tonight
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) May 23, 2017
MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO PPL OF MANCHESTER…HAD SPECIAL TIMES THERE FROM YOUTH & BEYOND
— Cher (@cher) May 22, 2017
My heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I'm so sorry to hear this
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) May 23, 2017
Our prayers and strengh to the victims and their families involved in this tragedy in Manchester. Stay strong. @ArianaGrande ����
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 22, 2017
Police tell public to stay away
Emergency services still working at the scene of last nights incident at Manchester Arena and continue to ask public to avoid the area
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
India's Modi condemns attack
Pained by the attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2017
'The arena was packed with young children'
Jane Pearson, 46, a high school English language mentor from Chadderton, Greater Manchester, had gone to the concert with her daughter, Rachel, 21, as a birthday treat. She told PA the arena was packed full of young children.
Mrs Pearson said: "It's the worst kind of people who could even consider doing something like this and quite frankly those sort of people, they deserve the worst punishment ever.
"I can't imagine what goes in to the heads of these people that want to hurt children? And families who have come together for such a happy occasion. It's disgusting. It's absolutely disgusting."
Mrs Pearson said she was in the block of seats next to where the explosion occurred. She said: "Well it was just at the actual final moment of the concert. Then all of a sudden this loud explosion, followed by a ton of smoke was coming up from the left of me.
"Then just absolute chaos. Disbelief, everybody running over each other not quite knowing what had gone on. Mad chaotic rush to nearest exit, lots of people crying and wailing. Really upsetting for everyone concerned.
"There was people bleeding, and lots of people being separated, very scary, very upsetting but obviously we believe there has been fatalities.
"It's just a terrible thing. Who could do this at a concert where there's children and families? Its just unbelievable."
Mrs Pearson added: "I just feel for everybody that's been injured and those that have been killed."
Ariana Grande’s music label has put out a statement
Universal Media Group said:
We are deeply saddened to learn of tonight's devastating event in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.
Theresa May pays tribute - and suspends General Election campaigning
Prime Minister Theresa May has said her thoughts are with the victims and families of those affected in "what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack".
Mrs May said: "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.
"All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."
A Tory source said the Prime Minister's General Election campaign was being suspended.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, tweeted:
Terrible incident in Manchester. My thoughts are with all those affected and our brilliant emergency services.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 22, 2017
Suicide bomber 'suspected to be behind attack'
Two US officials tell Reuters that a suicide bomber is suspected in the Manchester explosion.
If it is confirmed as a terror attack, it would be the worst to hit Britain since the July 7 2005 suicide bomb attacks in central London in which 52 people were killed.
Controlled explosion carried out
Greater Manchester Police have carried out a "controlled explosion" in the Cathedral Gardens area near Manchester Arena.
There will be a controlled explosion in Cathedral gardens shortly if you hearing anything don't be concerned.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Reports of 'second device'
Police sources have told @bbc5live there's a second suspected device. Reporters have been moved 200m away: "Controlled explosion imminent"
— Hasit Shah (@HasitShah) May 23, 2017
"Controlled explosion in 3-4 mins" - @ColinGPaterson, who's been told to stand against a wall, away from windows, on Corporation St
— Hasit Shah (@HasitShah) May 23, 2017
'Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims'
Death toll confirmed as 19 people
Police have confirmed that 19 people have been killed in the Manchester Arena attack. A further 50 people are injured.
Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017
Reports: 'suicide bomber behind explosion'
Police have not confirmed the reports.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 23, 2017
— Stefan Holt (@stefholt4NY) May 23, 2017
Facebook activates 'Safety Check' feature
'There was carnage everywhere'
A father has described seeing "carnage everywhere" in the wake of an explosion at Manchester Arena that left around 30 people, including children and disabled victims, lying on the floor.
The man, named Andy, said he was blown "about 30ft" by a blast that shook the building as he waited to collect his wife and daughter at the end of a concert by US artist Ariana Grande.
He said he later saw panicking families trying to find loved ones in the wake of the incident on Monday night.
He told BBC News: "It's shocking what happened. Just carnage everywhere. There was a good 20 to 30 of them [victims]. Some were young kids, some were disabled people."
Andy said he helped emergency services treat the wounded who were "scattered" by a blast near a box office.
He said: "As I was waiting an explosion went off and it threw me through the first set of doors about 30ft to the next set of doors.
"When I got up and looked around there was about 30 people scattered everywhere, some of them looked dead, they might of been unconscious but there was a lot of fatalities.
"My first thing was to run in the stadium to try and find my wife and daughter.
"When I couldn't find them I looked back outside and the police, fire and ambulance were there and I looked at some of the bodies trying to find my family.
"Luckily they weren't there, I managed to find them outside the arena and got them back to the hotel."
Death toll 'in double figures'
The death toll is in double figures, officials reportedly state.
Witness saw 20 to 30 people on ground
A witness, speaking to the BBC, saw 20 to 30 people on the ground following the explosion.
Police state Manchester Arena explosion is 'possible terrorist incident'
North West Counter Terror Command are treating it as a "possible terrorist incident".
Area in lockdown - armed police at scene
Hundreds of offers of support from people and companies in the Manchester area
The Holiday Inn nearest to Manchester Arena have taken dozens of kids who have been separated from their parents tonight.
— Samuel Carvalho (@SamCarvalho) May 22, 2017
If anyone needs shelter we are right on the outskirts of central Manchester in Salford, anything I can do to help DM me!! #ManchesterArena
— Karolina Staniecka (@karolinaviolet) May 22, 2017
Anyone needing a lift/place to stay from the Manchester Arena, tweet #roomformanchester Retweet and get this trending to help.
— Cal (@Panayisalad) May 22, 2017
If anyone in manchester is stranded, needs help getting home, give me a shout!
— Jaiden Micheal (@jaidenofficial) May 22, 2017
Bomb disposal unit 'at the scene'
Sky News reported that a bomb disposal unit was at the scene.
Explosion came from foyer of arena
British Transport Police confirmed the blast came from "within the foyer area of the stadium at 10.30pm this evening".
The sound of the explosion
— Joe Gregory (@JoeAaronGregory) May 22, 2017
Concert support act sends support
GUYS WE ARE OKAY !!! THANK YOU WE LOVE YOU ����❤️
— B I A ⚡️ (@PericoPrincess) May 22, 2017
Tim Farron pays tribute
Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said:
This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert.
My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news.
I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the emergency services.
This is an attack on innocent people and the nation is united both in its grief and its determination to stand up to this deplorable attack.
'It was a huge explosion'
"We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters.
"It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out of the area."
Police establishing 'casualty bureau'
Details of a casualty bureau for incident at Manchester Arena will be shared as soon as available. Please stay away from the area
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
Police: 'number of confirmed fatalities'
Police statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/gaKASukx9a
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
'Disruption is expected to continue until end of the day'
Manchester's Victoria station, which backs onto the arena, has been evacuated and all trains cancelled. National Rail said in an online statement: "Emergency services are dealing with an incident at Manchester Arena. As Manchester Victoria is located near the arena, the station has been evacuated and all lines closed.
"Trains are currently unable to run to / from Manchester Victoria. Some trains will be cancelled throughout or start / terminate at alternative stations. Disruption is expected to continue until end of the day."
'I think what the injuries have come from is people trying to get out as quickly as possible'
Eyewitness Josh Elliot told the BBC he had seen a "guy covered in blood".
He said: "There was also a woman outside who looked like she had been hurt, she was on the floor."
He added: "I think what the injuries have come from is people trying to get out as quickly as possible."
He said that "massive" balloons had come down into the arena during one of Grande's songs.
"My initial reaction was for me and my friends to get on the floor," he said. "I thought it was probably just a balloon, but at the same time in situations like this you just don't know what it is and it's better to be safe than sorry."
Liverpool mayor tweets that his children safe
Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram tweeted: "My 2 daughters caught up in the Manchester explosion at the arena. They are thankfully safe, but I fear for others."
Pictures emerging of injured concert-goers
Police: 'serious incident' at Manchester Arena
Emergency services responding to serious incident at Manchester Arena. Avoid the area. More details will follow as soon as available
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
Ariana Grande ‘Okay’ after reports of explosion
A representative for the pop star, who was performing at Manchester Arena, has told Variety she is "okay".
'Reports of blood and people injured'
Oliver Jones, 17, was at the concert with his 19-year-old sister.
He told PA: "I was in the toilet and heard a loud bang just after the concert had finished and people had started to leave.
"The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.
"I seen people running and screaming towards one direction and then many were turning around to run back the other way.
"Security was running out as well as the fans and concert goers.
"Reports of blood and people injured."
He added: "In so much shock and panic. You see this on the news all the time and never expect it to happen to you. I just had to run and make sure me and my sister were safe."
NW Ambulance service has put out a statement
We confirm that we are responding to an incident at the Manchester Arena. Please follow @gmpolice for updates at this time.
— NWAS NHS Trust (@NWAmbulance) May 22, 2017
Several ambulances attend the scene
— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) May 22, 2017
Panic inside the arena
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY�� pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) May 22, 2017
'Everyone was running away in big crowds'
Suzy Mitchell, 26, whose flat is opposite the venue, reported a huge bang rocking the neighbourhood. She told the Press Association: "(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."
#ManchesterVic - Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.
— National Rail (@nationalrailenq) May 22, 2017
'A huge bomb-like bang went off'
One fan at the concert described how the explosion hit the venue as fans were leaving the building. Majid Khan, 22, said: "I and my sister, along with a lot of others were seeing Ariana Grande perform at Manchester Arena, and we were all exiting the venue when around 10.40-10,45pm-ish a huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena.
"It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit Trinity Way and that was blocked so everyone was just running to any exit they could find as quickly as they could.
"Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off, so it was just extremely disturbing for everyone there."
Trains not stopping at Victoria station
Trains are currently not stopping at Victoria station following the security scare.
Schoolchildren 'ushered into one common room'
Boarders at Chetham's Music School next to Victoria Station and very near the arena have reportedly been ushered into one common room amid reports of explosion.
'Everyone ran out screaming'
Just got out of Manchester arena after seeing Ariana perform. There was a loud bang when the lights came on & everyone ran out screaming ��
— Riona�� (@SmileFor__Niall) May 22, 2017
British Transport Police have tweeted
We are aware of an incident at #ManchesterArena. We have officers at the scene & will provide further updates as soon as possible.
— BTP (@BTP) May 22, 2017
There are some reports the explosion heard could have been part of the act at Manchester Arena
Ariana Grande was performing.
Conflicting reports from Manchester arena. Everything from bombs, to a huge balloon prop bursting. Emergency services on scene.
— Jake (@Jake_afcb) May 22, 2017
Emergency services rush to scene
Police responded to reports of an incident at Manchester Arena. Please stay away from the area. More details to follow....
— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 22, 2017
Reports of 'massive explosion' in Manchester Arena
Two loud bangs heard around Manchester arena. People running out of the arena. No idea what's going on pic.twitter.com/KaRzQckvEE
— Alan Brennan (@alanbmufc92) May 22, 2017