As the shock of Monday night’s disaster in Manchester begins to subside, stories from inside the arena where the bomb went off are getting more attention. One of these tales of heroism focuses on Ariana Grande’s mother, who was still sitting in the front row when the bomb went off.
TMZ is reporting that Joan Grande was seated in the front row, waiting to go back stage to see her daughter, when the explosion rocked the entrance to the arena. As this was one of the main exits, panic ensued.
The concert was over, and the crowds were clearing out. Ariana was already backstage when the blast occurred.
Many, unsure of where the blast had come from, inadvertently ran toward the chaos. Others were stuck in the theater.
Joan Grande went into mom mode and took some of the fans backstage to hide out until the coast was clear enough for them to exit.
While there was no active threat at that point (beyond the panicked concert goers), they had no way of knowing what was happening.
Joan Grande worked with Ariana’s security to get the people around her to safety. They kept the people backstage until the police came to escort them to safety.
On the other end of the arena, the suicide bomber killed 22 and left 119 injured.
Ariana’s manager, Scooter Braun (above), wrote: “Tonight, our hearts are broken. Words cannot express our sorrow for the victims and families harmed in this senseless attack. We mourn the lives of children and loved ones taken by this cowardly act. We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers.”
The tour has been suspended. The concert poster has been altered to reflect the tragedy and is making the rounds on social media in honor of the victims.
While the victims were mostly young people, and fans of Ariana Grande, the attack has truck at the heart of the city of Manchester itself.