Covid death and another man in coma

At yesterday’s 1 pm Covid briefing Dr Ashley Bloomfield advised that there were five new Covid cases, three in the community and two in isolation, and there were 6 cases in hospital.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also advised Cabinet had decided that the Covid alert levels would remain the same, probably until 16 September.

But later in the afternoon it was announced that there had been a Covid death after the family of a man in his fifties who had worked at the Americold coolstore in West Auckland had turned off his life support on Friday morning.

The man was 58 and is the youngest to have died of Covid in New Zealand. The last Covid death here was on 28 May.

This is very sad for the family, and it is a reminder to the country that the virus can be lethal.

The timing of the announcement may have been due to how long it takes to inform family etc, but the Ministry of Health must have been aware at least of the seriousness of the man’s condition, and I would expect them to have made this information known to Cabinet prior to them making their decision yesterday.

This is how the Covid newsletter announced the death (sent out at 5:20 pm Friday):

COVID-19 related death in Auckland

We are sad to report the death of a man at Middlemore Hospital, linked to COVID-19. The man in his 50s was part of the current community cluster in Auckland and died earlier today. The man was a confirmed case of COVID-19. He was admitted to Middlemore as an inpatient via ED from quarantine and then cared for in the ICU. 

His family were regularly updated, the hospital facilitated contact using virtual technologies and his wife and son were able to visit him, using full PPE. His wife has expressed the family’s gratitude to the Middlemore Hospital staff for their care and compassion. 

This means the number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is now 23. 

Counties Manukau Health has acknowledged this, the DHB’s first COVID-19 related death, with the following mihi.

Kua riromai teetahi ika pounamu o te wao nui a Taane.  E tangi ana, haaere, 
Whakangaro atu ra, 
Ki te Kaakaarauri oki oki 

RNZ: Man dies from Covid-19 in Middlemore Hospital

The man was a confirmed case of Covid-19 and was being cared for in intensive care at Middlemore.

The ministry said his family were regularly updated, and his wife and son were able to visit him, using full PPE.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he acknowledged the anxiety New Zealanders “may be feeling about today’s news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whanau grieving over this death”.

“Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief.

“We have always recognised that further deaths linked to Covid-19 were possible. Although the health system has done and will continue to do everything we can to prevent them, this can be a very challenging virus to treat and for some people to recover from.

“Today’s news reinforces the importance of our shared vigilance against Covid-19, the very serious consequences the virus can carry with it, and the measures we all need to take to stop the spread, break any chain of transmission and prevent deaths.”

1 News: Father-of-two taken off life support today was NZ’s first Covid-19 death in over three months

The man, identified to 1 NEWS by a relative as Auckland-based Americold employee Alan Te Hiko, 58, died at Middlemore Hospital after family took him off life support this morning.

His case was linked to the ongoing Auckland community cluster.

It is the first Covid-19 related death in New Zealand since May 28, over three months ago.

Te Hiko, a father of two originally from Tokoroa, is the youngest person to have died from the virus in New Zealand.

According to the Ministry of Health, his wife has expressed the family’s gratitude to the Middlemore Hospital staff for their care and compassion.

The family member told 1 NEWS his wife, son and daughter remain at a quarantine facility, and his brother is currently in an induced coma in Waikato Hospital.

So a brother of the man who died is also in a serious condition. Tough times for the wider family.

This makes the decision to not change the alert level for nearly two weeks the right one, but that decision must surely have been informed by the serious condition of the two men and probably of the death.

Daily Covid update – two more cases and one more death

This isn’t unexpected but there have been two more cases reported today, one confirmed case linked to the Marist school cluster and one probable linked to the St Margaret’s rest Home.

And there is another death related to the Rosewood rest Home, so deaths now total 21.

There were 4772 tests processed, with the total now 160,700 tests.

There’s only 2 people in hospital.

Re the cases being reviewed of people who had asked for quarantine extensions to see dying relatives, about half have been reviewed but nothing on the outcomes.

As at 9.00 am, 6 May 2020
Total Change in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,138 1
Number of probable cases 350 1
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,488 2
Number of cases currently in hospital 2 -2
Number of recovered cases 1,316 14
Number of deaths 21 1

Looks like we are winding down from the peak for now at least.

DHB Total cases
Auckland 1
Counties Manukau 1
Total 2

Note: No cases are in ICU as at 9:00am 6 May 2020.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-situation/covid-19-current-cases


News that nearly 20,000 New Zealanders entered work in the first three months of the year shows the economy’s underlying strength heading into COVID-19, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

That’s very much out of date now.

Microsoft’s decision to establish a datacentre region for cloud services in New Zealand shows the advantage this country has as a safe haven for business as we move ahead with our economic recovery from COVID-19, Minister for Government Digital Services Kris Faafoi says.

“Today’s decision by Microsoft means that the Government, and New Zealand businesses and people, will be able to access the scale and security of Cloud services offered by a major global provider in ways we haven’t been able to before.

“Protecting New Zealanders’ data and privacy is critically important. Onshore Cloud facilities give us stronger control of our data and reduce the concerns relating to storing data offshore.

“Today’s announcement represents a positive step in New Zealand’s digital maturity, as we all adjust to working and learning online.

“New Zealand also has a reliable, almost entirely renewable power supply, crucial for hyper-scale Cloud services, which fits the carbon neutrality commitments of companies like Microsoft.

“While I welcome this private investment, I want to be very clear that Microsoft’s decision to establish its Cloud facilities in New Zealand has been made through the company’s independent due diligence, and this is not a government procurement,” Minister Faafoi said.

 

Covid update Friday – 2 more deaths, total 4, cases +29

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay:

Two more deaths today – older individuals with underlying health problems. So the total deaths are now 4.

A man in his 80s died in Wellington Hospital. He first became ill in 26 March and is linked to a cluster.

A man in his 70s died in Burwood Hospital, who was moved there from Rosewood Rest Home. It is the second death from there.

Thirty people linked to Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch are confirmed to have Covid-19 or probably have it, including 13 residents and 18 staff and two other cases who have had close contact. They are still investigating how Covid was transmitted to the rest home.

There is a new Christchurch cluster in Christchurch at the George Manning Rest Home.+

Another new cluster is linked to a the Spectrum daycare facility providing day care for individuals with intellectual disabilities

29 new cases today (20 confirmed and 9 probable) bringing the total cases to 1,312.

422 now recovered (+49)

15 in hospital, 5 in Intensive care (1 critical)

As at 9am, 11 April 2020
Total to date New in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,035 20
Number of probable cases 277 9
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,312 29
Number of cases in hospital 15 -1
Number of recovered cases 422 49
Number of deaths 4 2

Note: The number of confirmed and probable cases reported in the last 24 hours includes cases which were entered on an earlier date as ‘under investigation’ or ‘suspected’ whose status has now been changed to confirmed or probable.

View details of confirmed and probable cases.

View details of significant COVID-19 clusters.

View testing data by region.

Total cases by DHB, as at 9.00 am, 11 April 2020
DHB Number of cases Change in last 24 hours
Auckland 173 4
Bay of Plenty 42 3
Canterbury 135 0
Capital and Coast 86 0
Counties Manukau 98 3
Hawke’s Bay 38 3
Hutt Valley 21 0
Lakes 14 1
MidCentral 28 0
Nelson Marlborough 48 0
Northland 25 1
South Canterbury 11 0
Southern 207 5
Tairāwhiti 1 0
Taranaki 14 0
Waikato 167 1
Wairarapa 9 1
Waitemata 183 7
West Coast 5 0
Whanganui 7 0
Total 1,312 29

 


Greater Wellington Regional Council has released details on air quality for the first full week of lockdown showing dramatic falls in pollutants across the region.

Air pollution from traffic emissions measured at its Wellington City station from 26 March to 1 April dropped by 72 percent as a weekly average compared to the same period over the previous four years (2016-2019). Levels measured at its Upper Hutt station, which are usually much lower than Wellington City, fell by 63 percent.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414011/covid-19-updates-from-new-zealand-and-around-the-world-on-11-april

Patient numbers at emergency departments in Auckland, Northland fall

Patient volumes at some emergency departments in Auckland and Northland have fallen by up to 50 percent in recent weeks, leaving district health boards worried people are delaying seeking treatment.

Longer jury trials hiatus ‘devastating’ but understandable – defence lawyer

Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann shut down the trials last month until May, and that has now been extended another two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Courts are still hearing priority proceedings during the lockdown which include matters of individual liberty, family violence and cases where a defendant is being held in custody – unless the cases involve witnesses.

Elizabeth Hall from the Defence Lawyers Association said the backlog could cause year-long delays in some cases, and defendants could decide to plead guilty rather than wait.

“The people who are awaiting trial are presumed to be innocent.

“So the risk is that people who are in fact innocent feel the pressure to plead guilty just to get it over and done with, because they can’t bear waiting and because they may end up being in custody longer waiting than if they just pleaded and got it out of the way.”

She said extending the suspension of jury trials would have a “devastating impact” on victims, witnesses and defendants.

Hall said lawyers understood that convening juries created a health risk and the only option was to cancel them for now.

Covid update Friday – second death, more recoveries than new cases

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay:

The second death reported today, a woman in her 90s who has been in Burwood Hospital. She was one of twenty people transferred from a rest home earlier in the week. Family weren’t able to be with the woman in hospital because of the lockdown.

So the total deaths are now 2.

44 new cases today (23 confirmed and 21 probable) bringing the total cases to 1283.

14 new cases are linked to existing clusters.

373 now recovered (+56)

16 in hospital, 4 in Intensive care (2 critical)

That’s a few more cases than yesterday but it was expected that totals would fluctuate.

The highest number of tests yesterday not resulting in significantly more cases – a good sign.

As at 9am, 10 April 2020
Total to date New in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,015 23
Number of probable cases 268 21
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,283 44
Number of cases in hospital 16 2
Number of recovered cases 373 56
Number of deaths 2 1

View details of confirmed and probable cases.

View details of significant COVID-19 clusters.

View testing data by region.


In the south of the South Island, the police say hundreds of vehicles were stopped at 10 checkpoints yesterday, but only a handful were breaching the lockdown. Most drivers were either essential workers or heading to the supermarket.

Covid-19 update – first NZ death reported

The Prime Minister and Director-General of Health are holding a joint press conference at Parliament today (PM Ardern has been having a separate one later in the afternoon).

 

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield (who had his first day off for a while yesterday) case update:

First death from Covid-19 on the West Coast, a woman in her seventies. She was admitted to hospital with what was thought to be influenza they were well known to the hospital due to other health conditions. When she was initially treated staff were not fully Covid protected, so 21 staff have been put in 14 day isolation (that makes it tough on health staffing).

Dr Bloomfield says that in preparation for Covid all hospitals have stopped elective surgery and other non-urgent work so are running at about 50% capacity, so staffing levels aren’t a concern.

63 new cases in the last 24 hours (up to 9 am Sunday) – so this is a lower increase than for the lastt few days, but this doesn’t mean a general downturn. It could still rise again.

56 now recovered.

9 in hospital, 1 in ICU on a ventilator.

The combined total of cases is now 514.

Summary

As at 9.00 am, 29 March 2020
Total to date New in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 476 60
Number of probable cases 38 3
Number of confirmed and probable cases 514 63
Number of cases in hospital 9 (28 total to date)
Number of recovered cases 56 6
Number of deaths 1

View full details of the confirmed cases.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern:

The first death brings home why the measures have been taken to stop the spread.

“It is critical we all stay at home to stop the spread.”

Ardern is critical of online bullying of people who have contracted Covid-19.

Some people have been flouting restrictions. This puts others at risk, and risks extending the lockdown period.

Police have launched an online form  to report breaches of home isolation at 105 Police Non-Emergency Supporting Information

(More details when they post them online)

In an emergency, always call 111.

You can now report to Police online

  • Suspected COVID-19 L4 isolation breaches
  • Businesses you suspect are breaching the essential services rule.

Before making your report, please refer to information from the Ministry of Health about self-isolation(link is external) the Government guidelines about Essential businesses(link is external).

To complete this report you will need to provide your name and email address so we can contact you if required.

Start your COVID-19 L4 breach report

Police non-emergencies

For all other Police non-emergencies that don’t need urgent Police assistance, please refer below.

Please read the information in the ‘Assistance required’ options listed below for the best way to report a non-emergency, get advice or request something – before making an online report. This will help us work though the high volume of online reports resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

When making an online report please note:

  • You will need to provide a date of birth, email address and phone number to complete this report.
  • Please allow up to 10 minutes to complete this report.
  • The report cannot be saved to complete later.

 

Deaths in the US

Mass shooting deaths in the US usually get a lot of publicity. The number of gun violence deaths for 2018 is currently 12,869 – Gun Violence Archive.

There is some media coverage of the California fire toll, but despite the large number of possible casualties – currently 76 deaths have been confirmed, over a thousand people are missing. Some may have just got the hell out of the inferno area, and remain unaccounted for, but the toll is certain to grow.

The Atlantic: A Deadly Tsunami of Fire

The Camp Fire now ranks among this century’s worst U.S. natural disasters, and the number of dead could still rise.

Seventy-six people are dead. At least 1,276 are missing. And more than 7 million have been confined to their homes, as a cloud of toxic, corrosive ash darkens their windows and creeps under their doors.

The Camp Fire—which is still burning across some 232 square miles of Northern California—now ranks among the worst natural disasters to hit the United States this century. Only a handful of hurricanes and a “super outbreak” of tornadoes in 2011 have killed more Americans. This fire has robbed more Californians of their lives than has any earthquake since 1933.

There are obviously many other deaths in the US. There was one last week that will go unnoticed by all but a small handful of people.

Last Tuesday morning when on my way to work I received a phone call advising of the death in Texas of my younger brother.  As he rarely communicated – I visited him there in 2003, and last heard from him in 2013 (he didn’t reply to a recent email which was normal for him), so this came as a shock.

But from what I have learned his health had not been good for some time. he had diabetes and was suffering from related conditions.

Apparently was trying to treat himself. At this stage I can only guess, but I presume that the US user pays health system had something to do with this.  He lived on his own, and because of poor health, including being on crutches, it’s likely he couldn’t afford for decent health care.

He had options, like coming back to New Zealand and getting help from family and our health system, but for some reason he struggled on his own in the US, and as a result died early. Texas, where everything is big – apart from health care for the poor. (Neighbours and people we have been dealing with over his death have been very helpful).

I haven’t seen much of Martin since I left home – he has mostly lived overseas, in Australia, the UK and for the last quarter of a century in Texas.  His death there is just one, and more insignificant than most in the US.  But it means something to me and other family.

Martin George
Ex-Kiwi with a drawl
20 July 1959-11 November 2018

 

 

Death and rape threats against Davidson

Yesterday Green MP and co-leader Marama Davidson tweeted:

I think this claim has to be seen as credible. But it seems worse.

RNZ: Green Party co-leader receives rape and death threats on social media

The MP posted on Facebook yesterday morning, supporting Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s decision to ban two controversial Canadian speakers from Auckland Council venues.

Marama Davidson said “vile” comments about death and rape were made by supporters of the Canadian pair on her Facebook post yesterday.

“Quite a lot of tears from supporters of the two…some quite vile disgusting death threats to me, my children…some rape threats and people just calling me the most disgusting names and abuse you could probably imagine.”

She deleted the comments straight away because she did not want the wider public to get offended by what was written.

But she was now trying to recover the messages so she could give them to the police.

“Yeah I think it is worthwhile just putting on record to the authorities. That could include the parliamentary security – that this threat has been received,” she said.

Davidson’s post on Facebook:

Threats against MPs and their families shouldn’t be tolerated in New Zealand.

I have reservations about the Auckland banning of the Canadians, but that doesn’t justify threatening someone who supports the ban. It is something that warrants debate, but not gutless anonymous online attacks.

I don’t know how bad the threats were, I haven’t seen them, but it is still a disgraceful blot on ‘free speech’ and politics in New Zealand.

I know what it can be like to be threatened online, it has happened to me including implied death threats, and also threats against members of my family. It is an insidious part of the Internet – threats and abuse are an abuse of free speech.

 

Death of diver shows difficulty of Thai cave rescue, rain forecast

That it took nine days to find the thirteen people trapped deep in a cave in Thailand indicated the serious of their predicament.

It didn’t take long for warnings to be made about how difficult it would be getting them out of the flooded cave system, especially with the looming threat of several months of monsoon rains.

And the risks have been emphasised even more with the death of an expert diver, who ran out of oxygen on his way back out of the cave after dropping off oxygen tanks along the exit route.

BBC: Ex-navy diver dies on oxygen supply mission

Petty Officer Saman Gunan lost consciousness on his way out of the Tham Luang cave complex, where he had been delivering air tanks.

The group was found by British rescue divers after 10 days in the cave, perched on a rock shelf in a small chamber about 4km (2.5 miles) from the cave mouth.

Teams of Thai and international divers have since supplied them with food, oxygen and medical attention, but there are mounting concerns about the oxygen level in the chamber, which officials said had fallen to 15%. The usual level is 21%.

The death of Saman – a highly trained diver – on Thursday underscored the danger of moving from the chamber to mouth of the cave, and raised serious doubts about the safety of bringing the boys out through the cramped, flooded passageways.

The diver died after losing consciousness in one of the passageways, said Passakorn Boonyaluck, deputy governor of the Chiang Rai region, where the cave is situated.

“His job was to deliver oxygen. He did not have enough on his way back,” Mr Passakorn said.

Very sad.

On the surface, a huge military and civilian rescue operation is racing against the clock to bring the boys to safety. Heavy monsoon rains are expected on Sunday, threatening further flooding.

Officials had initially considered leaving the boys in the chamber to wait out the rainy season – which could have seen them trapped there for up to four months.

But Thailand’s Navy Seal commander suggested on Thursday that the divers may now have little choice but to attempt a daring emergency rescue – fraught with danger for the boys, who are aged 11 to 16 and some of whom cannot swim.

The latest news: Thailand cave rescue: no attempt to get boys out tonight, says governor

That was last night Thai time. It is nearly two weeks since they got trapped in the cave.

Official says even if rains start overnight, the football team ‘cannot dive at this time’

“There is no chance the boys will come out today. it is not suitable. they still cannot dive.”

He says the British diver, who came out of the cave at 9pm (local time), reported that the boys were fine.

The governor adds that he speaks to the families every day and asks if they want him to bring out the children right now. He says he wants the minimum risk before attempting the rescue.

If it rains, he says, the authorities “will try” to bring them out.

Efforts today to find appropriate locations to drill a shaft down to the stranded footballers were unsuccessful, meaning that the only viable option out is via the tunnels.

More: Full report: Falling oxygen levels add to risks of delays

Oxygen levels in their chamber may have fallen to about 15%, the deputy army commander Chalongchai Chaiyakham said at a briefing on Friday. Normal oxygen levels in the air are about 21%.

So many people – the boys, and the rescuers – in confined spaces are using up the available oxygen.

Updates from authorities throughout the week have emphasised the dangers of shepherding the boys through the cave to the exit, but the oxygen issues that emerged on Friday highlight the risks of keeping the boys in place during the monsoon.

Major decisions face those leading the rescue attempt. Very difficult decisions.

The cave is in Chiang Rai, which is in the north of Thailand:

Google Maps

Wikipedia:

Thailand is divided into three seasons.The first is the rainy or southwest monsoon season (mid–May to mid–October) which prevails over most of the country. This season is characterized by abundant rain with August and September being the wettest period of the year.

Nonetheless, dry spells commonly occur for 1 to 2 weeks from June to early July.

The boys and there coach became trapped just before a current dry spell.

This from weather.com shows the imminence of rain:

 

 

Charles Manson dead

Charles Manson, convicted of masterminding a series of murders in 1969, avoided the death penalty but spent the rest of his life in prison, He has just died, aged 83.

Image result for charles manson

LA Times: Charles Manson, mastermind of 1969 murders, dies at 83

Charles Manson was an unlikely figure to evolve into the personification of evil. A few inches over five feet, he was a petty criminal and small-time hustler. And his followers bore little resemblance to the stereotypical image of hardened killers. Most were in their early twenties, middle-class white kids, hippies and runaways who fell under his charismatic sway.

But in the summer of 1969, Manson masterminded a string of bizarre murders in Los Angeles that both horrified and fascinated the nation and signified to many the symbolic end of the 1960s and the idealism and naiveté the decade represented.

Considered one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century, Manson died of natural causes at a Kern County Hospital at 8:13 p.m Sunday, according to Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was 83.

Sentenced to death for the crime, Manson escaped execution when the state Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional at the time. He spent decades behind bars, an unrepentant and incorrigible inmate who’d been cited for behavioral issues more than 100 times.

His death is more of a curiosity than anything, I doubt many will mourn much.

Manson did not commit the murders himself; instead he persuaded his group of followers to carry out the killings. The crimes received frenzied news coverage, because so many lurid and sensational elements coalesced at the time — Hollywood celebrity, cult behavior, group sex, drugs and savage murders that concluded with the killers scrawling words with their victims’ blood.

Manson and four of his followers — Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles “Tex” Watson — were convicted of murdering actress Sharon Tate, the wife of movie director Roman Polanski, in their Bel-Air home on Aug. 9, 1969, along with four others.

Tate, 26, who was eight months pregnant, pleaded with her killers to spare the life of her unborn baby. Atkins replied, “Woman, I have no mercy for you.” Tate was stabbed 16 times. “PIG” was written in her blood on the front door.

The next night they killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home. Manson picked the house at random, tied up the couple and then left the killings to the others. They cut “WAR” in Leno LaBianca’s flesh and left a carving fork in his stomach and a knife in his throat. Using the LaBiancas’ blood, they scrawled on the wall and refrigerator in blood “DEATH TO PIGS” and “HEALTER SKELTER,” the misspelled title of a Beatles song.

The 9½-month trial — the longest in U.S. history at the time — was as bizarre as the crimes.

A group of young female followers with shaved heads gathered outside the courthouse and conducted a 24-hour vigil for Manson. One morning Manson entered the court room with an X carved into his forehead and his followers soon did the same.

During the trial, Manson jumped over his attorney’s table and made a dash for the bench. While the bailiffs were dragging him out of the courtroom, Manson shouted to Judge Charles H. Older, “In the name of Christian justice, someone should chop off your head!” The judge began packing a .38-caliber revolver under his robe.

Van Houten’s attorney, Ronald Hughes, disappeared during the trial and was later found dead. Prosecutors suspected he was another Manson victim.

Bugliosi argued during the trial that Manson orchestrated the murders as part of a plan to spark a race war that he called Helter Skelter. Blacks would win the war even though, according to Manson, they were inferior to whites. Then he and his followers would survive by living underground near Death Valley and would eventually take over power. In a later trial, Manson was convicted in the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea, who worked at the San Fernando Valley ranch where the family lived for a time.

In 1972, the death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment when the state Supreme Court abolished the death penalty. Since then, Manson and his followers have been eligible for parole hearings. Only one of those convicted in the nine murders — Steve Grogan, who was involved in the Shea shooting — has been paroled. Atkins died in 2009 while incarcerated in Chowchilla.

Manson — who had spent more than half of his life in prison before the conviction — was housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989. He broke prison rules dozens of times for violations including possessing cellular phones and a hacksaw blade, throwing hot coffee at a staff member, spitting in a guard’s face, fighting, refusing to obey orders and trying to flood a tier in his cellblock. Long ago, he turned the X on his forehead into a swastika. He was denied parole 12 times and had numerous disciplinary violations. His last parole hearing was in 2012, which he declined to attend.

So it’s a notable death but not a particularly sad one.

 

Explosions, deaths at Manchester concert

There was at least one explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. There have been multiple deaths and injuries reported.

Current summary (BBC):

  • Greater Manchester Police say there have been number of fatalities
  • People are urged to stay away from the area around Manchester Arena
  • Rail lines blocked at nearby Manchester Victoria station
  • Ariana Grande concert was evacuated
  • A spokesman for the singer confirms she is unharmed

Guardian: Manchester Arena: police confirm fatalities after explosion at Ariana Grande concert

Police in Manchester have responded to a “serious incident” at the city’s arena, amid unconfirmed reports online of an explosion.

Greater Manchester police warned people to stay away from Manchester Arena while they dealt with the issue. Officers did not release any further details on what has happened. A concert by Ariana Grande was being staged at the time.

UPDATE:

Here is the full update from Greater Manchester chief constable Ian Hopkins:

I can confirm the details of events tonight that we currently know. At around 10.33pm last night we received reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena in the city centre. It was at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert.

Currently we have 19 people confirmed to have died and around 50 people injured.

The injured are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected and we are doing all we can to support them.

Officers from GMP and emergency services are working at the scene and are supporting those affected. We are coordinating the response from GMP headquarters.

An emergency number is available for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area. It is 0161 856 9400.

We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise. We are working closely with the national counter-terrorism policing network and UK intelligence partners.

This is clearly a concerning time for people but we are doing all we can, working with local and national agencies to support those affected and gather information about what has happened tonight. As you will understand, we are still receiving information and updates, so will provide more details when we have a clearer picture.