Police are ‘confident’ that a concert to raise money for victims of Manchester Arena bombing can go ahead as host of stars sign up. Ariana Grande is to perform a benefit concert for victims of the Manchester bombing on Sunday, with a stellar line-up including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.
The singer will headline the One Love Manchester concert at the Old Trafford cricket ground, with support including Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That and One Direction’s Niall Horan. Earlier on Tuesday, police said Grande was keen to return to the city “sooner rather than later”, after a suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena following her show last Monday killed 22 people and injured 116.
Greater Manchester police’s chief constable, Ian Hopkins, said plans were being worked out for the singer to stage the concert on 4 June, nearly two weeks after the attack, to raise money for the victims and their families. He said he was “fairly confident” the event would go ahead. Police have consulted with the families of the victims about Grande returning to Manchester, and Hopkins said the majority were “very much in favour”. “There are some that clearly aren’t,” he added. “That is absolutely understandable.”
The event will be held at Old Trafford cricket ground, which holds 50,000 people and broadcast on BBC television. A testimonial game for the Manchester United player Michael Carrick is due to take place at Old Trafford football ground, less than half a mile away, on the same day.
“We’ve been working with Michael Carrick’s team and [Grande’s] team to try and make this happen, because clearly we can’t have 65,000 people in Old Trafford for Michael Carrick’s [testimonial game] and 50,000 in Lancashire cricket club, both at the same time,” said Hopkins. “It would just have caused utter traffic chaos, let alone the security issues for us.”
Georgina Callander, a teenager who was among the thousands of fans who had gone to see Ariana Grande perform live has been identified as one of the 22 people killed in last night's terror attack at Manchester Arena. The 18-year-old attends Runshaw College in Lancashire. The school confirmed that she was a student who was studying health and social care. Georgina who was in the second year of her course, was a keen Ariana Grande fan who had posed for pictures with the American star two years ago.
It has also been confirmed that eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos is also one of the first victims of the suicide attack at Manchester Arena to be named. Lancashire County Council confirmed that Saffie, who attended the concert by US singer Ariana Grande with her mother and older sister, was among the 22 people who died. Her sister and mum are believed to still be in hospital receiving treatment.
[Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos]
Chris Upton, head teacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, said Saffie had been "simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. "She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly." He added that the "news of Saffie's death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.
"The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking. "Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that."
Greater Manchester Police confirmed the cowardly act was the work of a lone male attacker who detonated an improvised explosive device as people were making their way out as the concert came to an end.
So far the casualty list remains at 22 with 59 injured. GMP sat they have arrested a 23-year-old man in south Manchester in connection with the bombing.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, reacted to this attack calling it "among the worst terrorism we have experienced in the United Kingdom" and that the city had fallen victim to a "callous terrorist attack".
The Queen in a statement said the whole nation is shocked by the attack and she offered her deepest sympathy to all those affected. She said: "I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity".
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reacted to the attack in a statement. He said: “I am horrified by the horrendous events in Manchester last night. My thoughts are with families and friends of those who have died and been injured.“Today the whole country will grieve for the people who have lost their lives.''
“I have spoken with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, who has fully briefed me on the operational response in the city. “I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with last night’s appalling events.
“I have spoken with the Prime Minister and we have agreed that that all national campaigning in the general election will be suspended until further notice.”.
World leaders have also reacted to the Manchester attack. Donald Trump branded the extremist killers as 'evil losers'.
Explosion in Manchester. Police warn people to keep away. Reports of loud bangs at Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. Explosion went off towards the end of the concert. thousands of people are reported fleeing the area. Huge bomb like bang was said to have shaken the area according to witnesses.
At least 10 police cars, five ambulances and two riot vans have been spotted rushing to the scene - and armed police have been spotted outside the arena. Network Rail has stated that train lines at Victoria Station are blocked. Some Twitter users reported that they thought it was a 'gun shot' or 'bomb'. Other sources suggest that it might be a speaker that blew during the performance or even balloons that had popped.
Witnesses say there was a lot of panic as people poured out of the hall after the explosion. Emergency services are at the scene
Greater Manchester Police confirm there has been some fatalities and injuries.
Read tweets from Greater Manchester Police and watch Video below