We are now closing our live blog of the aftermath of last night’s horrific terror attack in Manchester.
Our colleagues at the Manchester Evening News are continuing to provide updates here.
Thank you for following our updates throughout the day. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
Hero cabbie who crossed police cordon to find four girls who he was scheduled to take home
This is Tommy McMahon, a taxi driver who crossed the police cordon last night on foot in Manchester to find four girls aged between 16 and 18 who he was scheduled to take home.
Tommy, who works for Frodsham and District Taxis, had been frantically trying to find a route to them by road but pulled up after hitting repeated road cordons.
He disembarked and received permission from a police officer to pass through and continue his search on foot.
He said his only thought was to find the girls, who were aged 16 to 18 years, and to ‘get them home safe’.
After finding them, he walked with them back to his cab and dropped them safely back in Runcorn.
GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins' statement in full
Can I start by once again passing on our heartfelt sympathies to all the innocent people caught up in last night’s despicable act.
We now have a team of specially-trained Family Liaison Officers who are supporting families.
There has been much speculation and names of those who may have been killed in the media and social media. We accept that this is inevitable however we ask that people allow the police and coroner to release the names once the families are ready and appropriately supported.
As you would expect the police response to this across Greater Manchester has been significant as we support people to go about their daily business.
Part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we have also carried out two warrants, one in Whalley Range and one in Fallowfield that included a controlled explosion to enable safe entry.
We understand that feelings are very raw right now and people are bound to be looking for answers. However, now, more than ever, it is vital that our diverse communities in Greater Manchester stand together and do not tolerate hate.
We have been visited by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary and we have taken them through the emergency response so far and what we plan to do in future days.
I can confirm that the man suspected of carrying out last night’s atrocity has been named as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. However, he has not yet been formally identified and I wouldn’t wish, therefore, to comment further.
The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.
22-year-old Salman Abedi suspected, but not confirmed by coroner
Chief constable Hopkins added that it is believed a 22-year-old man called Salman Abedi is the suspect, but the coroner has not formally confirmed the bomber’s identity yet.
We will not tolerate hate crime, say police
Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins has just delivered an operational update.
In it, he has called on the public to support each other and urged people to report hate crime.
It is now more vital than ever that our communities stand together and support each other.
We will not tolerate hate towards any parts of our community.
Police at bombing suspect's home
The MEN is reporting that a ‘Know Your Chemicals’ booklet has been found by forensics officers searching the home of Manchester Arena bombing suspect Salman Abedi.
This picture shows a a forensics officer coming out of an address on Elsmore Road, Fallowfield, holding the book.
PM pictured signing book of condolence
Take That Manchester dates cancelled
Manchester Arena has confirmed Take That’s gigs later this week have been cancelled.
Due to the tragic events in Manchester last night and the ongoing police investigation, the scheduled Take That that concerts for Thursday 25, Friday 26, Saturday 27 at Manchester Arenahave been postponed.
Further details will be released as soon as possible.
Vigil to be held in Tarporley
A vigil to remember the victims of the attack has been arranged in Tarporley tonight.
Organiser Alex Cefai said the vigil will begin at 8pm outside St Helen’s Church.
Reports of bomber's identity
More flowers laid in Manchester city centre
14-year-old girl from Cheshire missing
Nell Jones, 14, has not been heard from since the terror attack.
Her friends and family are desperately appealing for help to trace her.
The Manchester Evening News reports it’s understood that Nell, who is from Goostrey, near Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, had been recently using crutches following a ligament injury.
Knutsford Young Farmers posted on its Facebook page: “One of our members and close friend Nell Jones was at the concert last night and sadly is still missing! If anyone hears from Nell please let someone know! #PrayForNell.”
Queen observes minute's silence
Officers still at scene of property raids
Rumours of unaccompanied kids in hotels quashed
Fears for missing Cheshire schoolgirl
A student from Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School is missing following last night’s terror attack in Manchester.
We believe that one student remains unaccounted for and I have spoken directly with the family.
Ambulance chiefs say 119 people were injured in the bomb attack, as the full scale of last night’s horror continues to emerge.
Paramedics treated 60 walking wounded in the city centre, on top of 59 people being treated in hospitals - several with life-threatening injuries - including children, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Prince Charles has told of his shock over the 'truly dreadful event'
The Prince of Wales has released a statement.
My wife and I were so profoundly shocked to learn of the truly dreadful event which took place in Manchester last night. That such a large number of people, including so many young concert-goers, lost their lives or have suffered so much in this appalling atrocity is deeply distressing and fills us with intense sadness. Words cannot adequately express what so many families must be feeling at this incredibly difficult time and our most heartfelt sympathy is with all those who have so tragically lost loved ones or who have been affected in some way.
Rossett family devastated by terrorism reach out to other victims
A woman whose 29-year-old sister Fiona was murdered in the July 7 London atrocity in 2005 has expressed sympathy for other devastated families following last night’s terrorist attack on Manchester Arena.
Andrea Watson was living in Elmwood Avenue, Hoole, when her only sibling Fiona Stevenson, a talented lawyer, was killed as she made her way to work on the London underground.
She told The Chronicle: “Those that are in hospital, searching, waiting, hoping, scouring all sources to find their loved ones or have the heartbreaking news that they have passed away – there are no words to give in situations like this, it is just so terribly, earth shatteringly sad.”
The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, on the Manchester bombing:
“Following the suicide bombing in Manchester over-night I know that you will be remembering in prayer all the victims and their families.
“Let us continue to pray for those who have died and their families and all who are suffering as a result of the terrible events of last night.
“Let us also keep in our prayer the police and emergency services together with all hospital staff and chaplains.
“Together with church and religious leaders in Greater Manchester, I ask the prayers of your parishioners for peace and solidarity in all our communities that the hate which inspires such indiscriminate violence may be overcome by that love which faith and prayer inspires in our hearts. I hope the days ahead, over-shadowed by this atrocity, will lead us all to such prayer and active charity.”
'Manchester will not be defeated'
Cheshire charity launches crowdfunding appeal
Cheshire Community Foundation has also launched a fundraising appeal.
The charity says all the money raised by supporters will go to help the victims and families.
Police investigating the terror attack have issued an appeal to anyone who was in Manchester city centre between 8pm and 11pm and has any dash-cam footage to send it to ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk as a matter of urgency.
Manchester Arena issue statement
Advice for parents on how to explain attack to kids
The NSPCC has published advice to help parents talk to their children about terrorism:
• Listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries • Offer reassurance and comfort and avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could leave them more frightened and confused. • Help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings. • Children can always contact Childline free and confidentially 24/7
Reporter Carmella De Lucia has put together a piece on how to try to explain the callous bomb attack on Manchester Arena to youngsters.
More info on Take That's Liverpool gig cancellation
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Our thoughts are with those affected by the devastating tragedy in Manchester. Our sympathies go out to everyone at this tragic time.
“We have been liaising with Take That and their promoter and they understandably wish to postpone tonight’s concert at Echo Arena Liverpool. We completely respect their decision which serves as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives and the people of Manchester. Take That have issued the following statement: Out of respect to all of the people and their families that were affected by the horrific incident last night at The Manchester Arena, we have decided to postpone our show tonight in Liverpool. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
“Further information will be communicated with Echo Arena Liverpool customers as soon as it is available.”
Rail strike action SUSPENDED in wake of attack
Union RMT has called off strike action on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said: “In light of the horrific bombing in Manchester last night, and the heightened safety and security alerts on our transport services, RMT’s executive has taken the decision to suspend the 24 hours of strike action scheduled for Tuesday 30th May on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail. “Our thoughts and solidarity at this time are with the people of Manchester.”
26-year-old man named as third victim
Twenty-six-year-old John Atkinson from Bury has been named as one of the 22 killed in the bomb attack.
It’s understood he had been leaving the Ariana Grande concert at the arena when the bomber struck.
Tributes have been pouring in for Mr Atkinson on social media, describing him as an ‘amazing young man’.
The Queen has spoken of her shock at the bomb attack, and admiration for the public’s response.
She said: “The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert.
“I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured.
“I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care.
“And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity.”
Armed raids ongoing in Manchester
The Manchester Evening News is reporting that armed police officers have raided a property in Fallowfield, as well as a flat in Whalley Range.
Officers used explosives to enter a house in Elsmore Road, off Wilbraham Road, Fallowfield, at around 11.30am today.
One witness said: “Residents said they heard a loud bang and then saw officers going into the house.
“There were about 20 armed officers in all black with machine guns. There were another 20 uniformed officers who were in the street.
“There were also plain clothes officers who were also armed.
“The road was cordoned off, but there was no evacuation of the street.”
Number of child casualties confirmed
David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service, has confirmed that 12 children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital.
The remaining 47 were taken to ‘adult hospitals’.
'A beautiful little girl in every aspect'
Saffie Rose Roussos’ headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School has paid an emotional tribute to the little girl.
Chris Upton said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends. The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.
“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.
“Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that. We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.”
Eight-year-old girl killed in attack
Heartbreaking news just in.
The primary school of eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who was reported missing in the aftermath of the terror attack at Manchester Arena, has confirmed she has passed away.
The youngster, who is believed to be from Tarleton in Lancashire, had been at the Ariane Grande concert with her mum Lisa Roussos and sister Ashlee Bromwich when the explosion happened.
PM's statement in full
New casualty bureau number - Others no longer in use
Take That cancel tonight's Liverpool show
Colleague at Daily Post was at the concert - "Fear quickly turned to hysteria"
Daily Post reporter Andrew Forgrave, who lives in Ashton Hayes, attended the concert with his family.
He recalls: “Fear quickly turned to hysteria”
“It was like a contagion: fear quickly turned to hysteria as those around us began bolting for the exit.”
Reports emerging that so-called Islamic State have claimed they are behind the attack.
Police are investigating whether the bomber was part of or was in contact with a terror network.
Patrols to be stepped up by Cheshire police
A spokeswoman for the force told The Chronicle: “The thoughts of everyone at Cheshire Constabulary are very much with all those affected by the devastating events in Manchester last night.
“We are working closely with our communities, providing extra patrols for visibility and reassurance, and co-operating with any national requirements for support.”
Diocese of Chester's prayer for Manchester
The Diocese of Chester has invited the public to join them in a prayer for the victims and their families.
A Collect for Peace O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Books of condolences opened here in Chester
Books of Condolences have been opened at Chester Town Hall, and candles have been lit in tribute to those who lost their lives or who were injured in last night’s attack.
Chester 'stands shoulder to shoulder' with Manchester
Lord Mayor of Chester Razia Daniels has condemned the ‘heinous’ attack on Manchester.
“We as a city stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and colleagues in Manchester to both confront and ultimately defeat those who would wish to attack our liberty, freedom, human rights and our democracies.
“Yesterday was the day Manchester has planned for but hoped would never happen.
“Last night was a terrible dark night for Manchester, the North West and the United Kingdom.”