You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

CBS reporter sparks fury with insensitive Ariana Grande tweet just hours after Manchester Arena blast kills 19 fans

Mirror logo Mirror 23/05/2017 Emmeline Saunders

Replay Video
Video provided by Dailymotion

A freelance reporter who works for CBS and Yahoo has been slammed for tweeting an insensitive 'joke' just hours after 19 people were killed and many more injured in the Manchester Arena explosion.

Teenage fans and their parents were in the audience at Ariana Grande's concert at the venue when an explosion rocked the arena just as the lights came up after her performance.

Greater Manchester Police has since confirmed 19 people died and 50 were injured in the incident, which is being considered as a possible terror attack.

But while most verified Twitter users posted their concern and sympathy for the victims and their families, one or two raised eyebrows with their messages.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA David Leavitt, who claims in his Twitter bio to have written for CBS, AXS, Yahoo amd the Examiner, tweeted to say: "MULTIPLE CONFIRMED FATALITIES at Manchester Arena. The last time I listened to Ariana Grande I almost died too."

He was immediately criticised for his crass tweet, with many telling him to delete his account.

"I can remotely understand if it was a good joke, but this isn't funny like at all," said one commenter.

"This what the delete feature is for," wrote another.

"Dude, no. Delete and sincerely apologise to save yourself a shred of grace and dignity. Don't just carry on joking, you plum," said a third.

David Leavitt has since deleted his tweet. © Twitter David Leavitt has since deleted his tweet. In response to several people drawing attention to the freelancer's tweet, AXS tweeted to say they had never employed Leavitt.

But instead of deleting his original tweet, Leavitt doubled down.

"Honestly, for over a year I thought an Ariana Grande was something you ordered at Starbucks," he continued.

And, in the face of people giving him a piece of their mind, he replied: "Checked my phone and got this message from Twitter. Try swearing at me now!"

"Too soon?" he added.

Credits: Twitter © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Twitter Two hours after the first tweet, Leavitt finally apologised.

"Sorry 4 offending. Didn't realize the magnitude of the tragedy. I always make stupid jokes about whatevers trending. Condolences 2 families," he said - although the first tweet is still up on his account.

It came after Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins described her horror at being caught up in the incident while at the Ariana gig.

“The concert had just finished and we were all leaving and then there was a big bang to our left. Everybody ran away from that immediate area,” she told Sky News after the blast.

“We didn’t know what had happened. People were screaming and running but then it kind of died down.

“We didn’t know if a balloon had gone off, because balloons had been released in the concert so we didn’t know if it was that.”

She said concert-goers were panicking, pushing up the stairs and trying to escape by climbing over the chairs inside the arena.

“As we got out, everybody was screaming and crying and then the corridor was full of – it smelled of burning and there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving,” she went on.

“The area had been blocked off so we couldn’t go any further but we managed to get out quite quickly and then there was just lots of police and ambulances arriving as we were leaving.”

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon