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22 dead after explosion following Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

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Ani Nalbandian, Copy Editor

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Among the 22 killed in the Manchester bombing are children as young as eight, a police officer, a schoolteacher, college students, and a young couple. The victims were children and parents waiting for loved ones leaving the Ariana Grande concert on May 22.

A suicide bomber was on the forecourt of the arena where he detonated explosives at the end of the concert. The explosion was the result of a nail bomb, where nails are placed inside the bomb to act as shrapnel once it is activated, causing mass casualties.

In the subsequent days after the bombing, the attacker, a British citizen of Libyan descent named Salman Abedi , was found to have a huge stash of explosive chemicals and bomb components. Abedi’s brother, Ismail, was arrested day of the attack. As of now, 11 people have been arrested on suspicion of assisting carrying out the concert attack. Two of those arrested were released and nine remain in custody for questioning.

ISIS has claimed to have planned and carried out the attack. However, their statement raises a few questions. The terrorist organization’s statement said the bomb was placed “in the midst of the gatherings.” However the bomb was neither placed (it was a suicide bomb), nor was it in the midst (it was outside the stadium).

Ariana Grande’s stage manager, Art McConnell, recalls the moments after the explosion, saying “My job was to change gears … to [help] all of our people [crew] exit the building through the back into the loading area and make sure they were all accounted for.”

Grande was quickly rushed from the arena after the bombing, where she was taken to a safe place and checked for injuries. Once she was able to, Grande tweeted “Broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”

After her mother made desperate appeals for information from the public about her daughter’s whereabouts, Olivia Campbell, only 15, was found dead from the attack. Chloe Rutherford, 17 and Liam Curry, 19, were a young couple that died during the attack. They were described as “perfect in every way for each other” by both of their families.

The final victim to be named, 15-year-old Megan Hurley, was with her brother at the concert, who sustained serious injuries. Another 14-year-old, Sorrell Leczkowski, died beside her mother and grandmother, who are both still in the hospital. Nell Jones and Eilidh MacLeod, both 14 year olds, were confirmed dead by both sets of parent’s days after the attack.

Parents were killed as well while waiting to pick up their children from the concert. Alison Lowe, 44 and friend Lisa Lees, 43 were killed waiting for their teenage daughters who were found safe. Marcin Kils, 42 and Angelika Kils, 39 were killed waiting for their daughters who were also found safe. Another mother waiting for her children, Wendy Fawell, 50, was unfortunately killed in the blast as well.

In an attempt to save her 11-year-old niece, Kelly Brewster, 32, died in the blast. “She ran to shield Hollie from the blast as best she could. She threw herself in front of her,” said a friend of Brewsters’.  Michelle Kiss, 45, was killed while accompanying her daughter to the concert. Philip Tron, 32, step-father of Courtney Boyle, 19, were both confirmed dead after desperate pleas on Facebook for information.

The youngest child confirmed dead is Saffie Rose Roussos, eight years old, who was separated from her mother and her sister – they are still receiving hospital treatment. She was a student at Tarleton Community Primary School in Leyland, Lancashire. “Saffie was 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,” said Chris Upton, headteacher at Roussos’ school.

The day after the explosion Grande tweeted, “There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better…However I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need help in any way.”

Ariana announced that she will host a benefit concert in Manchester in honor of the victims and to raise money for their families. Details about the concert will be announced once the gig is confirmed. “Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” said Grande.

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