Speed Reads

Manchester Attack

Manchester Arena witnesses describe terrifying scene after blast

One witness who fled the Manchester Arena after a suspected terrorist attack Monday night during an Ariana Grande concert described a chaotic scene "like something out of a war film."

Speaking to BBC 5 Live, a man named Andy said he was waiting for his wife and daughter in the arena's foyer when an explosion knocked him to the ground. "When I get up and look round, there's just bodies everywhere," he said. "I reckon 20 to 30 bodies. I can't say if some of them were dead, but they looked dead. They were covered in blood and were really seriously hurt." Andy also said he saw "kids and teenagers just lying there screaming."

A woman named Anne-Marie told BBC 5 Live she was at the concert with her 13-year-old daughter, and after she felt the building shudder, everyone "went into absolute panic." Fearing there was a gunman, "people were dropping to the floor," Anne-Marie said, and because there "were a hell of a lot of children in the building unaccompanied," she tried to "offer my support to a number of girls who were there on their own who were hysterical. They were around my daughter's age if not younger." Another mother at the concert, Rachel, told BBC Radio Manchester that she left a few minutes early with her 14-year-old daughter to avoid the crowds exiting at the end of the concert, and they heard an "almighty bang." They turned a corner, and "there was a horrific stampede of people coming down the steps, people falling on the floor. I grabbed my daughter and we just ran. There were people being crushed on the floor."