Last night shortly after 10:30 pm, a homemade device was detonated by a suicide bomber in the foyer of Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK, at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande
According to reports so far, 22 victims including children and teenagers have died – that's 23 if you include the perpetrator of the suicide bombing– and 59 people have been injured.
As many as 21,000 fans were at the concert and many are still missing.
Whilst nothing can make the scenario any less terrible, and few things will be able to heal the pain currently being felt by the friends and families of those at the scene, Manchester residents and emergency services responded impeccably
City-dwellers mobilized quickly after the explosion was heard, showing the resilience of a connected and supportive community. Using now-trending hashtags like #RoomForManchester, people in Manchester were offering help and support to anyone stranded with lifts and shelter.
As is evident from numerous tweets offering lifts or bedrooms, Mancunians have shown that in times of hate, they are capable of love and support for one another.
AJ's a taxi driver. He offered free lifts to anyone needing help, following Manchester blast. He said eyewitnesses described a "war zone". pic.twitter.com/zQHDjv8G2e— Jason Gallagher (@JAGallagher_) May 23, 2017
I LIVE IN MANCHESTER. I AM OFF WORK TODAY. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY OF YOU NEED HELP WITH LIFTS OR ARE STRANDED. I'M HERE.— Alex Winters (@alexwinterstv) May 23, 2017
The people of Manchester really are the best, offering drinks, food, lifts and somewhere to stay for the night.— ant (@antlini) May 22, 2017
God bless you all!
If you need a bed, a cup of tea, a charged phone etc. - I'm 15 mins from Manchester Arena. DM me, they're open! #RoomForManchester— Rachel Ellis (@rachelkellis) May 22, 2017
People offering shelter, lifts and whatever help they can. People donating blood and time. This is Manchester, this is who we are.— GirlGangMcr (@GirlGangMcr) May 23, 2017
MANCHESTER MUSLIM DOCTORS WORKING OVERNIGHT, MANCHESTER MUSLIM TAXI DRIVERS OFFERING FREE LIFTS, MANCHESTER RESIDENTS OFFERING THEIR HOMES— vv. (@weeb_baby) May 23, 2017
If anybody from Liverpool is in Manchester and needs picking up I'll do lifts all night. #manchester— Jordan Stevenson (@JPJStevenson) May 22, 2017
Amongst those helping out was the Holiday Inn near Manchester Arena, where hotel workers were offering shelter to lost children who were at the gig, whilst helping them find their parents. The hotel took in 50+ children who were without a guardian, according to various sources on Twitter.
A tweet showing a photo of selfless Mancunians lining up to donate blood this morning has also been going viral. However, GiveBlood NHS has told its followers that it has "all the blood required for hospital patients at the present time" and anyone wishing to donate blood – especially those with rare blood type O – should do so, but at a later date.
"Mancunians are pretty tough," my friend Laura, who lives in Manchester, said of the response of the city during the moments of terror last night.
Judging myself by the incredible, fearless response from Manchester's residents, I agree.
Muslim taxi drivers giving free lifts, Sikh temples giving food & beds, locals giving blood in the morning. Proud to call Manchester home— Emily Bolton (@EmilyBolton19) May 23, 2017