These girls went to see Ariana Grande in concert. Instead they witnessed a terrorist attack
‘As we were walking away we saw kids and adults crying, parents looking and screaming for their children, people covered in blood’
At least 22 people have been killed following a possible explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK on Monday night, many of them children attending their first concert alone. A further 59 have been injured.
A rep quickly confirmed that the singer was safe while police reported multiple fatalities and injuries. Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, told reporters: “We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we have further information.”
According to eyewitnesses, a loud explosion was heard after Ariana finished her set. Babe spoke to two girls who were at the concert at Manchester Arena about what happened.
Anna* told babe what it was like moments after the possible explosion
“Moments after Ariana finished her last set we heard a bang. I haven’t been to loads of concerts before so I thought maybe it was equipment or something and I didn’t think much of it. Then I thought ‘wow that was loud.’
“There was a moment of silence and all of a sudden every single girl in that stadium ran and screamed – deafening.
“I ran down the stairs as quickly as possible there were MEN arena workers calling each other, girls were crying, nearly everyone had their phones, people were shouting and people were flooding out of the main exit.”
Olivia Duffy who was also at the concert told babe her and her family managed to get out safe and saw people ‘laying on the floor with blood and serious injuries’
“Everyone was confused. We didn’t know whether it was a fight, a riot or a kick off. We were so confused and oblivious to the fact that might have been a bomb, as we just didn’t think that would happen at an Ariana Grande concert.
“As I stepped outside I could hear police cars and ambulances. My dad noticed a rapid response car and that’s when he knew something serious has happened, we seen a group of girls hysterically crying but we was so confused as people were running everywhere.
“People were laying on the floor with blood and serious injuries.”
“My dad grabbed us and we ran to his van which allowed us to get home safe. So far there have been 19 deaths confirmed. What a horrible world we live in.”
“It makes me feel so scared because I love music and I love concerts, I don’t want this to stop my favorite artists coming to Manchester. I can’t thank my dad enough for keeping me safe.”
Delilah, who was on the opposite side of the arena when the incident occurred, told babe she ‘saw people being carried out of the arena’
“Just as everyone was getting ready to leave (many had already left) when the lights were turned back on there was a loud bang from the other side of the arena in one of the floor exits.
“I looked over and presumed it was a balloon popping but then everyone started running and screaming. Everything happened so fast. My first instinct was to duck or something to shelter myself but I was luckily next to a set of stairs which led to an exit so we ran down them along with many other ppl until we reached the doors and got outside.
“So many people were gathered outside, crying, screaming and calling people. Then police began to arrive and I saw people being carried out of the arena. Police were scattered all over the area telling people to get away.
Olivia Malone was at the concert with her 13-year-old cousin. She told babe: ‘I took my cousin’s hand as tight as I could and told her she needed to run’
“After the show finished we were waiting to leave as the stairs were congested. There was then a loud bang that echoed the whole arena an a pause for seconds before everyone started screaming, people began running and pushing. Everyone was getting trampled on.
“I took my cousin’s hand as tight as I could and told her she needed to run, I literally dragged her out of the arena as quickly as I could before coming outside to hear sirens everywhere. There were so many little children there just wanting to see their idol.
“This is something I’ll never get out of my head.”
Holly Siân Cooke told babe she saw ‘kids and adults crying, parents looking and screaming for their children, and people covered in blood’
“Me and my friend were on the floor so very close to the stage. After Ariana’s last song, Dangerous woman, the lights came on and me and my friend went to leave.
“As I was walking towards the exit I heard the explosion. I looked straight behind me and saw people run back out and even jump from railings to get away.
“I grabbed my friend’s hand and followed everyone else out as quickly as possible. People were still screaming, no one had any idea what was happening. All you could hear were the words ‘bomb, gun, sound system and balloon’ (as she let off big pink balloons).
“As we were walking away we saw kids and adults crying, parents looking and screaming for their children, people covered in blood, ambulances, riot vans and police vans racing to the arena. People still had no idea what had happened.
“What I saw tonight will never leave my mind. My thoughts go out to family and friends of the people who have lost their lives. Such a sad horrendous end to a fantastic night.”
Kaitlan Richardson was focused on getting out when she heard people ‘calling their families telling them they loved them’
“I saw people not knowing where to run, just going back and forth and ringing their families telling them that they loved them. Everyone was screaming.
“I was focused on getting out as soon as the explosion happened. I just remember the security telling people to walk but I don’t think he knew what had happened.
“As we was walking across the car park there was a girl with her mum crying and she was trying to tell her it was a balloon so I stepped in and said that it was confetti banger and that seemed to help calm her down a little.
“People were saying it was a speaker that had blown and a balloon popped in the microphone. I have never seen police get to somewhere so quick, it was just one after the other and paramedics were running to the arena as the traffic was so bad and they couldn’t get through.”
If you were at the concert or would like to provide further information about what happened please email [email protected]