PEOPLE confirms police said a “a number” of fatalities were reported at Manchester Arena on Monday night, where Ariana Grande performed

By Karen Mizoguchi
May 23, 2017 03:05 PM

Social media was flooded with condolences and heartfelt messages following the devastating news of 22 dead and at least 59 injured at Manchester Arena in the U.K. where Ariana Grande performed a concert on Monday evening.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the explosion occurred around 10:33 p.m. local time near the ticket office outside the arena. The attack was carried out by a lone suspect carrying a bomb, Hopkins said.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity,” Hopkins said.

He added, “We have been treating this as a terrorist incident and we believe, at this stage, the attack last night was conducted by one man. The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network.”

“Ariana is okay,” a rep for Grande, 23, said in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We are further investigating what happened.”

Both of Grande’s opening acts for her U.K. tour, Puerto Rican-Italian rapper BIA and singer Victoria Monet shared their reaction tweets. “Guys we are okay! Thank you we love you,” BIA said in a now-deleted post.

“I wish I could say that I am ok, but I am not. Safe? Yes, but heartbroken that loved ones who came to have the night of their lives ended up losing them. They weren’t safe. I will never understand this hate!” Monet tweeted. “This was supposed to be their safe place! Im so. hurt and frustrated I don’t know how to handle this and can’t smile and I feel useless I’m sorry. Lord help me find strength. I’m going to stay off social media I just hope you all know that I love you all. Please send all your prayers up high for Manchester.”

Joel Goodman/LNP/REX/Shutterstock
Joel Goodman/LNP/REX/Shutterstock

Musicians and celebrities from around the world expressed their condolences to Grande and the concertgoers inside Manchester Arena.

“My prayers go out to ppl of Manchester… Had special times there from youth & beyond,” Cher tweeted.

WATCH: Police Chief Constable Confirms 22 Dead & 59 Injured at Ariana Grande Manchester Arena Suicide Bombing

“Praying for everyone at @ArianaGrande’s show,” Katy Perry wrote on Twitter.

“Tearing up imagining innocent concert goers losing their lives.. praying for everyone and all #arianators,” Demi Lovato tweeted.

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

The Greater Manchester Police first shared news of the reported incident at approximately 11 p.m. local time, before updating that emergency personnel were responding to the “serious incident” and urging people to stay away from the area. Then, at 11:45 p.m. local time, they released a statement announcing, “There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured” after a reported explosion.