Manchester Arena was packed and fans were sent fleeing for cover when there was an explosion at around 10.30 p.m. local time in which 22 people were killed and another 59 wounded. It was during the performance of pop-star 23-year-old Ariana Grande who is currently on her Dangerous Woman tour. She has canceled the rest of her tour in view of this tragedy.

The venue can accommodate more than 20,000 people and the explosion happened in a public place that was outside the venue when the fans, mostly teens, and children, were on their way out.

News outlets like CNN and NBC News have cited U.S.

officials who are of the opinion that the explosion was a terror attack carried out by a Suicide Bomber and the device might have contained sharp objects. Paramedics are believed to have treated injuries that resemble injuries from shrapnel like objects which lends credence to such a theory.

Brief details of the incident

According to New York Daily News, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police has revealed that there was a lone male attacker who exploded an IED and was killed in the explosion. He did not elaborate on the contents of the explosive or on the identity of the suspect suicide bomber. If confirmed to be a terrorist attack, then it would be the deadliest one on British soil since 2005.

It may be recalled that at that time there was an attack on the London Underground and buses and the death toll was 52.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the deadly assault in Manchester Arena. New York Mayor de Blasio has indicated that NYPD is keeping a tab on the incident and would increase its surveillance via police dogs, bag checks and positioning counter-terrorism officers at selected locations.

The Department of Homeland Security does not have a report of any threats that target music venues in the United States.

Past incidents of terrorism at entertainment venues

Manchester Arena is Europe’s largest indoor arena and the explosion in the Ariana Grande program reminded one of the terror attacks in 2015 in Paris. There were several coordinated attacks carried out by ISIS in which 89 people were killed in the Bataclan Theater and another 41 in other locations.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, sent her thoughts and condolences to the victims.

The United States also faced such a terror attack last June and the venue was the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people were killed.

As to Britain, its most recent brush with terror was on March 22, when a driver plowed into pedestrians in the city’s center before crashing near Parliament. The driver was a British and also an ISIS operative and he stabbed a police officer to death before falling to police bullets.

Terror attacks are unpredictable and when suicide bombers are involved it becomes all the more difficult to zero in on probable suspects. There are sophisticated gadgets available to check for concealed explosive devices but the complication increases when there are thousands of people involved as in an entertainment program of this nature.