The crowd in Manchester included many children and teens, with their accompanying parents, and after the blast, eyewitnesses described to PEOPLE a scene of chaos and fear.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police said the explosion occurred around 10:33 p.m. local time near the ticket office outside the arena. Police have named 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a British-born man of Libyan descent, as the bomber. He died in the blast.
In addition to Abedi, greater Manchester Police said they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the incident, according to the Associated Press. Soon after, officials took three more men into custody.
This article will be updated as the identities of victims are confirmed.
Callander was the first victim publicly identified after the suicide bombing. The teen died in a hospital with her mother at her side, The Evening Standard reported.
“She was always very open, would talk to everyone,” her friend Shelby Wharton, 17, told the newspaper. “She was so nice. It does not feel real. I just pray for her family.”
Callander was a big fan of Grande’s, and was even photographed with the 23-year-old pop star at a concert two years ago. On Saturday, the teen tweeted that she was “so excited” to see Grande perform.
Officials at a school she formerly attended, Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy, remembered Callander in a statement.
“Georgina was a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff and always made the most of the opportunities she had at the school,” school officials said.
Saffie was initially missing in the wake of the explosion after she went to the show with her older sister Ashlee Bromwich and mother Lisa Roussos, according to The Telegraph. Ashlee and Lisa were reportedly in separate hospitals after the incident being treated for injuries.
Chris Upton, headteacher at the Tarleton Community Primary School, said in a statement to PEOPLE that Saffie’s death “has come as a tremendous shock.”
“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,” Upton said.
“Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”
Nell Jones, 14
Jones died at the scene after the explosion, officials with Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School confirmed in a statement.
The statement read: “We are all devastated by the loss and as a school community we must now come to terms with what has happened. Nell was a very bright and popular student.”
According to school officials, the teen’s tutor, David Wheeler, described Jones as a “very popular” girl who was “always smiling, always positive.”
“Her tutor group have been together since the transition from primary school. It feels like they have lost a sister not a classmate,” Wheeler said.
Hett, 29, had been missing since he became separated from friends at the concert – he was expected to travel to the U.S. on Wednesday for a two-month vacation.
Hett’s brother, Dan, broke the tragic news in a Twitter post on Wednesday, writing, “They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken.”
Russell Hayward remembered Hett in a moving Twitter tribute on Wednesday, declaring, “I love you Martyn. I always will.”
“We got the news last night that our wonderful iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive,” Hayward wrote. “He left this world exactly how he lived, centre of attention. I’m in a really bad way so please forgive if I don’t reply. Thankfully I have his wonderful family and amazing friends to keep each other strong.”
Sorrell Leczkowski, 14
Leczkowski was with her mother and grandmother, picking up relatives from the arena when the attack occurred, her family said in a statement. Her mother, Samantha, was in surgery after the incident.
“Sorrell was only 14, but she was our rock, she kept us all grounded,” the statement read. “She was such a clever, talented, creative girl, there was nothing she couldn’t do.”
The teen’s family said Leczkowski dreamed of becoming an architect and one day building her mother a house.
Eilidh MacLeod, 14
MacLeod, from the tiny island of Barra in Scotland, was at the concert with a friend, Laura MacIntyre. MacIntyre is believed to be in serious condition at a Manchester hospital, the BBC reports.
“Words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh,” the family said in a statement, according to the BBC.
“Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.”
John Atkinson, 26
John Atkinson’s sister, Laura Atkinson, confirms her brother’s death to PEOPLE.
Numerous friends have taken to Facebook to remember Atkinson, from Radcliffe, in Bury, England, describing him as described as “an amazing guy” with a “beautiful soul.”
One friend, Tracey Crolla, called Atkinson “an amazing young man” who was “so kind and thoughtful.”
Tracey Sagar posted a note of remembrance, offering up her prayers for those Atkinson left behind. “What a mad, sad world,” she reflected. Nicola Jade Greenhalgh expressed a similar sentiment.
“Just heard the news and I got goosebumps all over my body,” Greenhalgh writes. “Such a sick world we live in … my thoughts are with all the Atkinson family today … I can’t even think straight today.”
McIver, a Cheshire Police officer, was off-duty when she took to the concert with her husband Paul, according to the BBC. Paul was also injured in the attack.
“She was everyone’s friend, thoughtful beyond belief with an effervescent and outgoing personality,” McIver’s family said in a statement.
“Elaine just loved life, and had a major love of music. Despite what has happened to her, she would want us all to carry on regardless and not be frightened by fear tactics, instead she regularly urged us all to rise up against it.”
Cheshire Police officials honored the officer in a statement, noting that McIver joined the constabulary 20 years ago.
“Friends who knew her well have described her as big hearted, bubbly and a positive person,” officials said in the statement.
The Merseyside schoolgirl’s family and friends set up a crowdfunding account to raise money for a memorial service.
“Weʼre raising £3,000 to help fund a beautiful send off for Megan who was taken far too early due to the awful attacks at Manchester Evening News Arena on 22/05/2017,” wrote Helen McDermott, from Halewood, who organized the fundraiser.
“After such a heartbreaking event where many were killed and injured through such a horrendous act of violence we can do little more than pray for the families who have suffered and hope we are never subject to the pain they must be feeling! RIP to Megan and every other victim,” she added.
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A friend of the Sheffield native confirmed the death on Facebook, writing, “R.I.P my dear friend Kelly! I love you more than words can describe. I won’t be the same person without you!”
In addition, an online media page for Kelly’s hometown wrote on Facebook: “Missing Sheffield woman Kelly Brewster has been found but it’s unfortunate news as her family confirm she is no longer with us as she loses her life in the Manchester attacks last night.”
Olivia was confirmed dead by her mother Charlotte Campbell on Facebook Tuesday. “RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to soon go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much,” Charlotte wrote.
Hours after the Manchester terrorist attack, Olivia was registered as a missing person. The last time Charlotte had spoken to her daughter was when Olivia called to say how happy she was to be at Manchester Arena to watch Grande.
“We’re going to [search] … and we’ll do it every single day until we find that little girl,” Charlotte and Olivia’s stepfather Paul Hodgson was heard tearfully pleading during their on-air interview with CNN.
“At this present moment, we need our Oli back,” Hodgson said before Campbell added: “I love her so much. I want her home. I need her home. She is my baby. I miss her so much. If she is out there, just phone, just phone. I’ll be there. I don’t care where she is. I’ll be there.”
Michelle Kiss, 45
Kiss’ family confirmed the death in a statement to PEOPLE.
“Family was her life and we are all obviously devastated by her loss,” the family said in the statement. “She has been taken away from us, and all that love her, in the most traumatic was imaginable.”
The statement continued: “We hope to draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult time.”
Kiss leaves behind a husband, Tony, and three children, Dylan, Elliot and Millie.
Alison Howe, 44
The Royton native’s stepson Jordan confirmed her death on Facebook Tuesday. “They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe,” Jordan wrote.
Jordan had spent Tuesday searching hospitals in Manchester to try to find his missing stepmother Alison, who was waiting to pick up her 15-year-old daughter from the concert.
“We haven’t heard anything yet. I am just about to go into another hospital, we have been looking in the hospitals for her,” Jordan told The Guardian.
Lisa Lees, 43
Lees, a friend of Howe and fellow Royton resident, had also been waiting to pick up her 15-year-old daughter from Manchester Arena.
Lees’ brother Lee Hunter confirmed her death on Facebook Tuesday. “For those who don’t know Lisa is gone but never ever forgotten I love you Lisa I’ll miss you so much,” he wrote.
Angelika, 40 and Marcin Klis, 42
The Klis’ have been confirmed as the two Polish nationals killed in the attack, officials reportedly told CBS News.
On Tuesday, the couple’s daughter, 20-year-old Alex Klis, shared a Facebook photo of her parents, asking the public for help finding them.
“If anyone comes across my parents please please let me know as they’ve been missing ever since the attack,” Alex wrote.
Coworkers of Marcin, who was a taxi driver, described him as a “fun-loving, family man.”
“He was well liked and respected by his colleagues during his 6 months with us,” his employers said in a statement. “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Marcin and Angelika’s daughters, family and friends. We will of course be doing everything possible to support them through this tragic event.”
Wendy Fawell, 50
Wendy Fawell’s son Adam confirmed her death in a Facebook post on Thursday, writing, “I’m sad to say my [mother] Wendy Fawell didn’t survive the blast. R.I.P Mum xxx.”
She was reportedly at the show with her daughter and her friend Caroline, who was seriously injured in the attack, the BBC reports.
“She was the kindest person you’d ever wish to meet,” family friend Jean Osborne said in a statement, according to the BBC. “She’d do anything for you. She was an awesome person. She’ll be missed by many.”
Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 50
Jane Tweddle-Taylor was at the Manchester arena Monday night with a friend to pick up the friend’s daughter, the BBC reports.
She was a receptionist at South Shore Academy in Blackpool, Lancashire, according to a statement from the school.
“Jane was a well-loved member of staff and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this terrible time,” the statement read, describing her as “bubbly, kind, welcoming funny, generous… the list goes on.”
“She is irreplaceable, much loved and will never be forgotten,” the statement added.
The teens from South Shields, South Tyneside were confirmed dead by their families in a statement from the Greater Manchester Police.
“On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not. They were perfect in every way for each other and were meant to be,” the statement read.
“They were beautiful inside and out to ourselves and our families, and they were inseparable. Chloe always described herself as ditzy who Liam adored and would do anything for, including dealing with Chloe’s demands for chocolate. They lived to go to new places together and explore different cities. They wanted to be together forever and now they are,” the statement concluded.
The couple had not been in touch with family members since Monday’s explosion. Friend Dawn Finnigan sent out a string of tweets in search of Rutherford and Curry, adding that family members had been in touch with police.
Liam was a waiter at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead and was studying applied sport and exercise science at Northumbria University, according to his Facebook account. Chloe often shared selfies of her and her boyfriend on her Facebook account.
Courtney Boyle, 19
Boyle was killed at the concert along with her stepfather, 32-year-old Philip Tron, according to the BBC.
She was remembered by her mother as a “stunning” and “amazing” daughter.
“You were my rock,” Deborah Hutchinson, Boyle’s mom, said in a statement. “You made me so proud with all you had achieved and my gorgeous crazy Philip you made my world a happy place and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky.”
Boyle’s sister called her a “wonder of a sister who is now a shining yellow star in the sky.”
And her boyfriend said, according to the BBC, “My Courtney was an adventurer, a precious and joyous soul. She made people feel loved and feel safe.”
Philip Tron, 32
Tron was killed at the concert along with Boyle, his stepdaughter, according to the BBC.
“My gorgeous, crazy Philip, you made my world a happy place and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky,” Boyle’s mom said in a statement.
“Phil, my stepdad, my Costa buddy, you were always there no matter what to keep me safe and make me happy,” Boyle’s sister said.
In a statement, Tron’s family described him as “our most amazing son, partner, brother, father, uncle, nephew and cousin.”
“Philip was such a fun loving, energetic soul, he would light up the darkest room and lift your spirits with his infectious laugh, witty sense of humour and his beautiful smile,” they said.
“Words cannot express the huge void his passing has left in all our lives.”