UPDATE: NBC reports that at least 20 fatalities have been reported.
 
An explosion at the Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, where American singer Ariana Grande had been performing, has caused what police are saying is a “number of fatalities.” An unknown number of persons were left injured.
Reports of an explosion at the concert venue in the city of Manchester brought a police response. The incident occured at approximately 10:40 p.m. local time in the city in northern England.  Fans were seen streaming out of the concert venue. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," said Catherine Macfarlane to 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."
Manchester Arena has a capacity for 21,000 people, according to its website. It is a popular concert and sporting venue that was first opened in 1985. Singer Ariana Grande is reportedly uninjured.
While there has been no confirmation by police, there has yet to be any report that the explosion was evidence of a terrorist attack. Britain remains on the second-highest alert level --  "severe" -- which means that terrorist attack is believed to be highly likely. 

 

Sky News correspondent Mark White said of the incident: "The first priority of the emergency services is to get a handle on the situation and reach those injured. That they are doing.

 

"The fact they've got a number of fatalities tells you this is a significant incident and there may be quite a number of injuries.

"So it can take quite a while even for the police themselves to determine what has happened."



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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