Manchester explosion: Ariana Grande fans criticise arena's security after suicide bombing

Guests at the venue claim their bags were not searched and there were no metal scanners at the Victoria entrance where the blast occurred 

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 23 May 2017 07:45
Members of the emergency services work near Manchester Arena following a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert
Members of the emergency services work near Manchester Arena following a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert

Music fans have criticised security at the Manchester Arena following an explosion killed at least 22 people and injured dozens more.

Ariana Grande fans were making their way out of the venue after the concert when a lone male suicide bomber detonated a blast at around 10.30pm, police have said.

Witnesses described seeing smoke and smelling burning in the foyer area of the arena, while others reported glass, metal nuts and nails on the floor.

​Thousands of people were forced to flee the arena after the blast was triggered.

Since the attack, fans have been tweeting about the security at the venue, with some claiming that it was possible for anyone to "walk in with things under a coat", and others saying their bags were not checked.

A Czech woman who was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester says that “there was almost no security check, rather zero. They let us get in without any check if we have anything with us.”

Nikola Trochtova told the Czech public radio that “the only thing they were interested in was if we had any bottles of water with us. They almost didn't check our bags, they didn't take a look", AP reports.

She says she was leaving the venue when she heard an explosion at the entrance, but only learned about what had happened after returning to her hotel.

One woman tweeted: "The last 3 times I've seen a show at Manchester Arena they didn't check my bag even though I had a backpack on."

"For One Direction, they just kind of jiggled my bag, 'feeling' if there was anything harmful. Had a 1L bottle of Lucozade, didn't open my bag.

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"Didn't even check my bag at all for Little Mix nor 5SOS, despite my bag being full and quite heavy."

Another person wrote: "Being there at the concert in Manchester, I'm not surprised someone was able to take something into the arena. Security was horrendous.

"Only a bag check, no metal scanners or pat downs for anyone entering through the Manchester Victoria entrance of the arena."

The Victoria entrance was where the blast occurred, in the foyer area between the arena and Victoria station next door to the venue. It is unclear whether security were present in that area of the venue.

The Independent has contacted Manchester Arena and ShowSec, a security company listed as an official supplier of the venue on its website, for comment

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