The first victims have been identified in Monday’s deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, an attack that killed at least 22 and left dozens injured.
Georgina Callander, 18, was the first to be identified in the aftermath. Described by friends as a “superfan” of the singer, Callander was a second-year student at Runshaw College in Leyland, about 30 miles from Manchester Arena, USA Today reported.
Callander saw Grande at the venue just two years ago and shared a picture of herself and a friend meeting the pop star on Instagram.
“I hugged her so tight and she said she loved my bow. I can’t get over this I never will,” she captioned the photo.
Saffie Rose Roussos was the second victim identified. The 8-year-old student at Tarleton Community Primary School attended the concert with her mother and older sister, who are thought to be in the hospital, the BBC reported.
A third victim, John Atkinson, was identified Tuesday morning. The 26-year-old, who friends described as a “true gentleman,” was from nearby Bury, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, which was allegedly carried out by a 23-year-old suicide bomber, later identified as Salman Abedi. Another 23-year-old was arrested in connection to the explosion.
“All acts of terrorism are cowardly … but this attack stands out for its appalling sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives,” Prime Minister Theresa May said.
President Donald Trump denounced the Manchester attack as well during a news conference in the Middle East, saying he “won’t call them monsters, because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them from now on ‘losers.’ Because that’s what they are, they’re losers. And we’ll have more of them, but they’re losers, just remember that.”
The Manchester attack, which occurred at the largest indoor arena in Europe, is the deadliest terror attack on British soil since 2005, when four suicide bombers detonated on London’s transit system and killed 52 people and injured more than 700 others.
Grande, an artist whose fan base largely skews to young girls between 11 and 15, tweeted after the tragedy that she was “broken.” “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” she wrote.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
Victims of the Manchester attack
Metro will update this list as more victims are identified:
Georgina Callander, 18
Saffie Rose Roussos, 8
John Atkinson, 26