Manchester locals are using #RoomForManchester to offer shelter to those stranded by concert blast

Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena in northern England where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing in.
PHOTO: Reuters

Sometimes when tragedy strikes, hope prevails.

Local residents in Manchester, England have stepped forward to render help after a horrific explosion killed at least 19 people and injured over 50 at Manchester Arena.

US singer Ariana Grande had performed her concert there.

While initial reports were vague, British officials are currently treating it as a terrorist attack.

Photos: Explosions at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

  • Salman Abedi has been named by police as the suspected suicide bomber. Source: Twitter/ @STcom
  • Police have arrested the suspect's brother, Ismail Abedi, and raided his house. Source: Twitter
  • A man adding a single rose to a the messages and floral tributes in Albert Square in Manchester, on May 23. Source: AFP
  • Women lighting candles following a vigil in central Manchester, on May 23. Source: Reuters
  • Messages and floral tributes are seen in Albert Square in Manchester, on May 23. Source: AFP
  • Source: Reuters
  • Source: AFP
  • Several monuments also lit up in blue, red and white colours, like the Orlando Eye. Source: Twitter/ @theorlandoeye
  • Zagreb: fountain tribute Source: AFP
  • London: Kingsbury Mandir Source: Twitter/ @SGadiLondon
  • Hong Kong: HSBC buidling Source: Twitter/ @breaking9news
  • Amsterdam: Central Station Source: Twitter/ @sebasvds
  • Abu Dhabi: Adnoc Group HQ Source: Twitter/ @AdnocGroup
  • Belfast: City Hall Source: Twitter/ @stuartrobinson1
  • Berlin: Brandenburg gate Source: Twitter/ @Nikiiide
  • Dubai: Burj Khalifa Source: Twitter/ @DCFCdubai
  • The Empire State building in NYC goes dark in remembrance of the attack victims. Source: Twitter/ @breaking911
  • Photos of the victims were shared on Twitter. Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • Source: Twitter
  • The arena broke into chaos, with people rushing to leave. Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @hannawwh
  • Source: Twitter/ @JSMcbrearty
  • People were seen rushing out of the arena. Source: Instagram/ @zachwhiteguybruce
  • Source: Instagram/ @zachwhiteguybruce
  • A woman posted on Facebook the results of the explosion on her belongings and body. Source: Screengrab from Abby Mullen's Facebook
  • A rumour about the explosion being a "big balloon" being popped was addressed by a twitter user who was in the arena. Source: Twitter/ @cj_coulter
  • The exit of the arena was packed. Source: Twitter/ @JSMcbrearty
  • The chaos of everybody leaving the arena led to heavy traffic. Source: Twitter/ @1875SHA
  • The police also released a statement on their Twitter page. Source: Screengrab from Twitter account @gmpolice
  • A bomb disposal unit was pictured to arrive at the scene. Source: Twitter/ @pavbeee
  • The police released another statement later. Source: Screengrab from Twitter account @gmpolice
  • Forensic police search the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Britain on May 23. Source: Reuters
  • Ariana Granda sent out a tweet after the incident.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as 'appalling'.

Hundreds of concert-goers, many of whom are young children, were left stranded in Manchester due to trains being halted.

However, Manchester residents took to Twitter with the hashtag #RoomForManchester to offer help and it started trending.

Several tweeted that they were willing to offer their spare rooms, beds, couches and more for anyone affected by the blast.

Some also offered free taxi rides for people who needed to get home or to their hotels.

Others also offered phone chargers for those with a flat phone battery so they could get in touch with family to let them know of their whereabouts.

Facebook had also switched on its safety check feature.

One concert goer, Riley Blackery, had lost sight of her friend and tweeted a photo of them together, seeking help from anyone who might have seen her. 

Thanks to the wonders of social media, a fellow netizen on Twitter replied to say that her friend had been found and was safe at a hotel.

Many hotels were also opening up free rooms for stranded survivors, according to several tweets.

There were also unconfirmed reports that a Holiday Inn Express located near the concert arena had taken in over 50 children following the attack.

The attack took place after Grande's performance as crowds were exiting the 21,000-capacity stadium just north of downtown Manchester.

A spokesperson announced that the 23-year-old singer is doing 'okay'.

Grande has also tweeted about the tragedy.

This might have been the latest terrorist attack that could potentially divide people - but humanity stamped its foot again. Kudos to the heroes who rushed to aid those in need.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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