UK

Manchester Arena Explosion: Twitter Users Images Of Loved Ones Using #MissingInManchester Hashtag

A number of people are still unaccounted for.

23/05/2017 08:18 BST | Updated 23/05/2017 14:36 BST

Friends and relatives of those still unaccounted for following a suicide attack in Manchester have shared images of their loved ones in a bid to find them.

Greater Manchester Police has set up an emergency helpline to help those trying to find missing friends or relatives on 0161 856 9400.

Children are said to be among the 22 people killed at 59 injured in an explosion during an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena last night.

The force has urged anyone caught up in the incident to contact friends and family to let them know they are safe.

PA Wire/PA Images
Police forensic investigators walk along a bridge linking Victoria Station with the Manchester Arena

GMP also said anyone who needs assistance in the aftermath of the incident can go to the Etihad Stadium access Gate 11.

A string of images of those still missing has been shared on the hashtag #MissingInManchester...

Some did have a happy ending...

Witnesses reported hearing a “huge bang” at the venue at the end of US pop star Ariana Grande’s gig on Monday evening as children, teenagers and adults left the building with the lights going up.

The attacker died at the scene after detonating an improvised explosive device and police are treating this as a terrorist incident.

Footage posted on social media showed people fleeing the 21,000-capacity venue screaming and panicking, and the area around the arena was soon swamped with police and emergency services.

PA Wire/PA Images
Emergency services at Manchester Arena after the explosion

GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins 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. They are being treated at eight hospitals across Greater Manchester.

“This is a fast-moving investigation and we have significant resources deployed to both the investigation and the visible patrols that people will see across Greater Manchester as they wake up to news of the events last night. This will include armed officers as people would expect. More than 400 officers have been involved in this operation during the night.

“To remind you, we were called at 10.33pm to reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. More than 240 calls came in and emergency services were very quickly on scene. Emergency numbers have been established for anyone who is concerned for loved ones who may not have returned home 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.

Stringer . / Reuters
The hashtag #MissingInManchester has been used to search for those still unaccounted for

“We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man. The priority is to establish whether he 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.

“We would ask people not to speculate on his details or to share names. There is a complex and wide ranging investigation underway.

“We have received tremendous support from across the police services and partner agencies throughout the night.

“We regularly carry out exercises to test our ability to respond to such incidents and this has ensured a very swift response from local and national agencies. I want to thank all those members of the emergency services and other agencies who have worked tirelessly through the night in very difficult circumstances. Their response has been outstanding.”

An emergency number is available for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area: 0161 856 9400