Football world reacts to tragic Manchester Arena blast

Published May 23rd, 2017 - 11:28 GMT
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (4R) stands with teammates as they observe a minute's silence for the victims of yesterday's terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, during a team training session at the club's training complex near Carrington, west of Manchester in north west England on May 23, 2017, ahead of their UEFA Europa League final football match against Ajax.
Paul ELLIS / AFP
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (4R) stands with teammates as they observe a minute's silence for the victims of yesterday's terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, during a team training session at the club's training complex near Carrington, west of Manchester in north west England on May 23, 2017, ahead of their UEFA Europa League final football match against Ajax. Paul ELLIS / AFP

At least 22 people have been confirmed as killed in a suspected terror attack in Manchester, UK, late on Monday night, and the football world has begun to mourn the tragic loss of life.

In addition to numerous fatalities, police say over 50 people were injured when an explosion hit outside the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande gig.

The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, players from those two clubs and England football legend Gary Lineker took to social media to express sympathy and support for the victims of the tragedy.

IS IT A TERRORIST ATTACK?

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning explaining that it is treating the incident as a terrorist attack, although that's a working hypothesis with details remaining thin on the ground.

"Just before 22:35 on Monday May 22, 2017, police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena," the GMP statement reads.

"So far 19 (now updated to 22) people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured. This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the incident, saying: "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."

All political parties will suspend campaigning ahead of next month's General Election for what will be a period of national mourning.

WHERE DID THE EXPLOSION HAPPEN?

The Manchester Arena is in the city centre of the north-west UK, two miles north of Manchester United's Old Trafford and two miles west of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Although initial reports suggested the explosion happened in the foyer, Manchester Arena released a statement in the aftermath claiming the explosion happened outside as an estimated 21,000 people left the concert just after 22:30.

"We can confirm there was an incident as people were leaving the Ariana Grande show last night," it said.

"The incident took place outside the venue in a public space. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims."

Anyone in the UK concerned about the safety of relatives can dial the emergency number set up by police, which is 0161 856 9400.


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