LONDON – It was supposed to be one of the best nights of their lives: a concert featuring the American singer Ariana Grande and thousands of like-minded fans.
But for at least 22 people attending the concert in Manchester on Monday, it was their last night, killed in a suicide attack as the event ended. Authorities said at least 59 people were injured.
Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, was among those killed as she was leaving the packed concert at Manchester Arena. Authorities haven't officially released the victims' names, but three have been identified locally.
Saffie was the youngest victim to have been identified. The elementary school student was at the concert with her mother, Lisa, and older sister Ashlee, who are reportedly being treated for shrapnel injuries in separate hospitals.
She was "simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word," Chris Upton, the principal of Tarleton Community Primary School, said in a statement. Saffie was "loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly," he said.
The attacker appeared intent on causing maximum casualties by detonating his device at the moment families, teenagers and tweens were streaming out of the arena.
John Atkinson, in his 20s from Radcliffe, a town about 10 miles north of Manchester, was named as one of the fatalities by friends on social media.
The third named fatality was Georgina "Gina" Callander, 18, a college student. The day before she died, she responded to a post from Grande, tweeting, "SO EXCITED TO SEE U TOMORROW."