Manchester terror attack

Venues worldwide move to tighten security in the wake of Manchester attack

At least 22 people are killed and 59 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday. US officials say it's a suspected suicide bombing.
Police forensic officers walking along a bridge that links Victoria station to the Manchester Arena. The attack in the northern English city of Manchester is the worst such incident on British soil since the London bombings of 2005. Above: A woman we
Police forensic officers walking along a bridge that links Victoria station to the Manchester Arena. The attack in the northern English city of Manchester is the worst such incident on British soil since the London bombings of 2005. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Police forensic officers walking along a bridge that links Victoria station to the Manchester Arena. The attack in the northern English city of Manchester is the worst such incident on British soil since the London bombings of 2005. Above: A woman we
Police interviewing people affected by the terror attack, including this girl.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Police forensic officers walking along a bridge that links Victoria station to the Manchester Arena. The attack in the northern English city of Manchester is the worst such incident on British soil since the London bombings of 2005. Above: A woman we
A woman wearing an Ariana Grande hooded top that she bought at the concert at the Manchester Arena. The explosion had ripped through the foyer where concert-goers had gathered to buy merchandise towards the end of the singer's performance on Monday night. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Several countries relook procedures; HK to have metal detectors and search dogs

TOKYO • From the United States to Japan and Australia, security-tightening measures are being considered ahead of major theatre and sports events following Monday's Manchester suicide bomb attack which took place after a pop concert.

The US Department of Homeland Security said it was monitoring the situation in Manchester, and the American public may experience increased security at public events.

Japan said it had started gathering information.

"We have strengthened our position by establishing an information-gathering unit dedicated to international terrorism," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Hong Kong's AsiaWorld Expo, where US singer Ariana Grande was supposed to hold a concert in September, said it would enhance security measures for all concerts and events.

Besides baggage inspection, there will be metal detectors, it said in a statement, adding that it was also planning to introduce search dogs for suspicious items.

 

Hong Kong is already on high alert ahead of an expected visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's handover to Beijing on July 1, when the former British colony's new leader will also be sworn in.

SMELL OF BURNING

Everybody was panicking. The corridor was full, it smelled of burning, there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving.

ACTRESS ISABEL HODGINS, who attended the concert, as reported by Sky News.

BODIES EVERYWHERE

There was heat on my neck and when I looked up, there were bodies everywhere.

MS ELENA SEMINO, who was waiting for her 17-year-old daughter, as reported by the Guardian newspaper.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was working closely with other countries on strategy.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the state of Victoria, Australia's biggest sports arena, said it was reviewing procedures.

"While the threat level in Victoria remains unchanged, and there is no known threat to the MCG, we continue to receive advice from the relevant authorities and together review our security processes accordingly," the club's spokesman said.

SM investments Corp, whose Mall of Asia Arena in Manila was to host Ariana Grande in August, said it always takes all precautions.

"Our security is always stepped up especially for big crowds like this," said SM investment relations chief Corazon Guidote.

At the Cannes Film Festival, where security has been tight for the past week, a minute's silence was observed on its famed red carpet yesterday evening. A planned fireworks display was cancelled.

Less than a year after the terrorist truck attack in nearby Nice that killed 86 people last July, unprecedented measures have been taken to protect the Cannes festival, with large concrete barriers put up in a bid to prevent another vehicle assault and snipers positioned on the roof above sensitive sites.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard offered his "heartfelt thoughts" to families of the 22 killed and dozens injured on Monday night.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'Venues worldwide move to tighten security'. Print Edition | Subscribe