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Blast at Ariana Grande concert in England kills 19 people

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/23/2017 By GREGORY KATZ and JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
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Armed police block a road near to the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, England, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing over a dozen people and injuring dozens in what police say they are treating as a terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira) © The Associated Press Armed police block a road near to the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, England, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing over a dozen people and injuring dozens in what police say they are treating as a terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

LONDON (AP) — An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens in what police were treating as a terrorist attack.

Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Armed police stand guard at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Greater Manchester Police said 19 people were confirmed dead after the explosion at Manchester Arena. Northwest Ambulance Service said 59 injured people had been taken to hospitals, and a number of "walking wounded" were treated at the scene. Emergency vehicles were helping the injured and bomb disposal units were later seen outside the venue.

Police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)
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There was mass panic after the explosion at the end of the concert, which was part of Grande's The Dangerous Woman Tour.

Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words."

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande performs at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

Manchester Arena said on its website that the blast struck outside the venue as concertgoers were leaving.

Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Jenny Brewster said she was leaving the concert with her 11-year-old daughter when the blast hit.

Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

"As I turned around, boom, one loud noise," she told Sky News. "A gentleman said 'run!' so we ran."

Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Armed police work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Outside, she said, "you could smell the burning."

Armed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) © The Associated Press Armed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Britain's terrorist threat level has been set at "severe" in recent years indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

"A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena," concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain's Press Association. "It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit."

Map locates Manchester Arena in Manchester, England; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm; © The Associated Press Map locates Manchester Arena in Manchester, England; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;

Added Oliver Jones, 17: "The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run."

Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is working to establish "the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

May is due to chair a meeting of the government's COBRA emergency committee later Tuesday. She and other candidates suspended campaigning for Britain's June 8 election after the blast.

If the incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on three subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled.

The Dangerous Woman Tour is the third concert tour by Grande and supports her third studio album, "Dangerous Woman."

Grande's role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon's high school sitcom "Victorious" propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.

The 23-year-old Grande, with her signature high ponytail, went on to also star in spinoffs that included "iCarly," as she worked to develop her recording career.

The tour began in Phoenix in February. After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) miles northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a large swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

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AP writer Leanne Italie in New York and AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in Jersey City, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

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