27 minutes of terror – how Manchester Arena bombing unfolded second by second

It had been a night of cheering and dancing – but just 27 minutes changed the lives of tens of thousands of people forever.

Ariana Grande didn't need to win the hearts of the, mainly very young, fans who had travelled to the Manchester Arena to see her on May 22, 2017.

But as they made their home from the "amazing show" their lives – and the whole city of Manchester and the country as a whole – would be shattered permanently.

The foyer of Manchester Arena was packed with young girls, chatting with their friends and family, laughing and singing.

Parents were there, dutifully waiting to pick their children up after their exciting night out.

But then at 10:31pm a horrific noise ripped through the packed concert venue.

Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old terrorist and radical Islamist, had made his way into the foyer filled with happy, young faces.

He was armed with a nail bomb – and exploded it.

It as an improvised device, packed fill of nuts and bolts, which would act as devasataing shrapnel, designed to cause as much pain, suffering and death as possible.

The blast killed 22 people, injured 139 more and its impact was felt almost 70 feet away.

Confusion reigned as smoke, terrified screams and people desperately trying to flee overcame the busy foyer.

There were thousands of people still trapped inside the arena, frantically trying to get out and unclear what was happenig outside.

Loved ones and friends were desperately trying to find those who they had been at the concert with, or those who they were picking up from a venue where they thought they would be safe.

The Manchester Arena Bombing was the deadliest terror attack in Britain since the July 7, 2005, London bombings.

Here are the 27 minutes that shattered all those lives.

10:31pm – Salman Ramadan Abedi exploded the bomb

Emergency services had multiple reports of the sound of an explosion coming from inside Manchester Arena.

British Transport Police, stationed at the nearby Victoria Station, were among the first to here the explosion.

Four BTP officers are already in the arena because of the concert and reach the foyer within 30 seconds.

Other nearby officers, also on duty because of the sheer number of people at the arena, rush to the scene.

They believe the noise of the explosion is a train crash.

Staff within the arena quickly realise the gravity of the situation and start to give first aid to the injured.

10:33pm  – First call to police

Police were on the scene within two minutes following the bomb reports and sealed off the roads surrounding the arena.

The Force Duty Officer for Greater Manchester Police isn't initially sure what the situation is but sends armed response vehicles to the scene

10:39pm – Police become paramedics

One of the most seriously hurt young casualties is taken to hospital by police officers, who fear so much for her life they don't want to risk waiting for paramedics to arrive.

10:42pm – Chaos and devastation

The first paramedics arrive at Victoria Station, 11 minutes after the bomb has gone off.

The management of the injured is passed to the ambulance service.

By this time BTP officers have reported that the "sheer scale" of the chaose inside means they are faced with "confusion and distress" from everywhere inside the arena and the neighbouring Victoria Station.

They say there is "devastation" inside the foyer of Manchester Arena.

Officers also fear there could be a second bomb, or another attack.

This means both people inside the arena and the emergency services rushing to respond to the attack are at risk.

10:43pm – Armed police arrive

Greater Manchester Police are now at the scene and the control of the major incident is passed to them from BTP.

There are now fears the victims shrapnel injuries could be gunshot wounds and the attack has been similar to that carried out in Paris by terrorists.

12 armed officers are also now at the arena and the Force Duty Officer has to make the horrendous decision of whether or not to withdraw all emergency services from the arena foyer.

He makes the decision that it would be "unconscionable" to pull officers from inside the arena and they remain where they are.

Meanwhile, search dogs are deployed to sniff out any further explosives.

Paramedics are now desperately trying to treat the injured.

In a desperate attempt to get them out of the area, police, arena staff and even members of the public carry them out on improvised stretchers.

These include anything from display boards t metal crowd barriers.

A casualty assessment unit has been set up on the concourse of Victoria Station and people are carried there.

People are treated or sent on to the most appropriate hospital for treatment.

10:47pm – Confirmation of an explosion

Other forces are now responding to the attack now there is confirmation of an explosion.

A total of 106 firearms officers head to Greater Manchester help local police.

Many of those officers drop off their personal trauma packs in the foyer of Manchester Arena so they can be used by the teams treating the injured inside.

10:58pm – Everyone is out

All of those hurt in the bast have now been evacuated from the arena

The foyer is now secured as a crime scene and those first on the scene hand over to the Greater Manchester Police's Crime Scene Manager.

What happened next

In the hours and days after the atrocity, Manchester's residents, business people and emergency services banded together to do everything they could to help the victims.

People and taxis offered free transport so people could get to those stranded at the arena and a nearby hotel opened its doors for those looking for loved ones after the bombing

Many other local people offered shelter to those caught up in the terror attack.

The following day the terror threat to the UK was raised to 'critical', its highest level.

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