Manchester Attack: 'She's Wearing Pink Sweatshirt & Blue Jeans. Her Name is...'
"We heard the last song go and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke."
Vehicles are seen near a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England. (Photo credit: Reuters/ Andrew Yates)
Manchester: Within hours of the alleged terror attack at an arena in Manchester, which killed 22 people, desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones with images of happy-looking teenagers posted next to pleas for help.
"Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair.
Another Twitter user called Erin:P urged people to help him find his sister: "She's wearing a pink sweatshirt and blue jeans. Her name is Whitney."
ALSO READ | Manchester Arena Attack: What we Know so Far
Charlotte Campbell was among the parents searching for their children. She posted a picture of her daughter, Olivia, who was also wearing flowers in her hair. "Anyone seen my daughter Olivia Campbell," she wrote. "#manchester"
In other messages, taxi drivers and Manchester residents offered to ferry those who needed to leave the city for free, while the hashtag #RoomForManchester was being used to offer free bedrooms and sofas for anyone stuck in the city.
"I'm 10 mins from Manchester city centre and can give lifts to or from anywhere. Anyone needs help, just let me know. #roomformanchester," wrote a Twitter user called Danny Hutch.
In the hours after the blast, picture montages of smiling faces were being circulated of teens still unaccounted for after the concert. They carried the hashtag: "#PrayForManchester."
Gary Walker from Leeds told BBC Radio 5 Live that he was hit by shrapnel in his foot and his wife sustained a stomach wound as they waited for their daughters to come out of the concert.
"We heard the last song go and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke," he said.
Isabel Hodgins, an actress who had been attending the concert, told Sky News, "Everybody was panicking, there was pushing up the stairs.”
"The corridor was full, it smelled of burning, there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving."
"It's just shocking and we just feel very shaken up. We're just lucky to have gotten away safely," she said.
Majid Khan, 22, who was attending the concert with his sister, said, "A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena".
Calvin Welsford, 18, from Bristol told the BBC: "It almost sounded like a gunshot".
"I looked around and people were just spilling down, heading out of the building".
"I was actually having an asthma attack. It was sheer panic," he said.
Manchester residents opened up their homes to people who could not get home after the incident, sending messages with the hashtag #RoomforManchester.
Robert Tempkin, 22, from Middlesbrough, told the BBC, "Everyone was screaming and running, there were coats and people's phones on the floor. People just dropped everything.”
"Some people were screaming they'd seen blood but other people were saying it was balloons busting or a speaker had been popped.”
"There were lots of ambulances. I saw somebody being treated. I couldn't tell what had happened to him."
The Manchester ambulance service warned people only to call "for life threatening emergencies" as it had "a large number of resources at the incident".
Suzy Mitchell, whose flat is opposite the venue, said she heard "a huge bang" and came out of her flat to see "everyone was running away in big crowds".
On Tuesday morning, in Manchester, a blast at a concert by US singer Ariana Grande killed 22 people and injured over 59 others.
British police said the incident was being treated as a terrorist incident. Police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect device several hours after the blast.
Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to the victims and families of those involved in "the appalling terrorist attack". The government is expected to call an emergency cabinet meeting to deal with the incident.
"We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said in a statement.
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