Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Moments after singer Ariana Grande finished her May 22, 2017 concert at the Manchester Arena, a suicide bomber detonated an explosion at the venue, killing 22 concertgoers and injuring 116 more.
ISIS claimed responsibility for what was the deadliest act of terrorism in Britain since the London Underground bombings in 2005.
A scene of youthful fun turned to panic and violence as shrapnel and fire tore through the crowd exiting the Arena’s busiest exit. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw a flash of light. Some were knocked down by the blast, while others struggled to safety in the chaos.
Desperate parents, relatives and friends began what would be a hours-long search for their children and those from whom they had been separated when the race to safety began.
Others took to social media with photos of their loved ones, using #manchesterarena to ask if any of them had been seen alive after the blast. More than 240 emergency calls were made; 60 ambulances and 400 police officers helped in the search.
The youngest victim was 8-year-old Lancashire native Saffie Roussos.
It was later revealed that the attacker was Salman Abedi, 22, a Manchester native of Libyan descent who investigators believe became radicalized after spending time in Libya in 2011.
Although he was known to the British security services, he was not part of any active terrorist investigations at the time of the attack. Evidence shows that others, including Abedi’s brother, were aware of his plans and may have helped carry them out.
Right after the attack, Grande tweeted: “From the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry, I have no words.” Eleven days later, he returned to Manchester and visited the injured fans and the families of the victims.