Students Left Devastated After Manchester Attack

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Students around the world have been left in shock after an arena full of young people fell victim to a terror attack in Manchester.

An explosion believed to be caused by an improvised bomb in Manchester Arena on 22 May has killed 22 people and injured 59 others, a number of whom are children.

The arena was packed with young fans for the UK leg of Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour.

Universities remain open in the days following the attack with the University of Manchester intending to “carry on business as usual”.

Although no Aussie students are believed to have been affected by the attack but it has raised concerns about the number of Aussie students studying in the UK. 

The University of Manchester is one of the top 10 universities in the UK and is popular with Australian students for its academic excellence, world-renowned music scene and is generally cheaper to live in than London. 

The UK was found to be the most popular choice for students applying in 2016.

Deakin student Rebecca Bulluss, who studied at Manchester Metropolitan University as part of an exchange program last year, said she was “absolutely gutted” to hear of the incident.

“It was only a few months ago that I was at that same arena, enjoying myself just as much as everybody else would have been before it unfolded,” she said.

Manchester Metropolitan University have described the attack as “an assault on our community, our city, and our way of life” in a statement on their website.

“We are on standby to do all that we can to help and support students, staff and those impacted,” it read.

Greater Manchester Police‘s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters on Tuesday that while it is important for the community to remain vigilant, they must also go about their daily lives.

Police are treating the attack as a terrorist incident and believe it was carried out by 22-year-old Manchester born Salman Abedi.

The priority remains finding whether the man was acting alone or part of a network.

One final-year film student at Nottingham Trent University pulled out of a shift working at the arena on the night of the attack to study for her last exam.

“Never thought I’d be so grateful to have an exam,” she said.

“It’s my last one so I wanted to be fully prepared and not start slacking at the last hurdle.

“But as a uni student money is pretty tight, so I was close to saying yes because I could have done with the money.”

Although the city is trying to get on with business as usual there has been significant public transport disruptions and road closures.

A hashtag #RoomForManchester is being used on twitter to offer places to stay for people who have been displaced following the attack.

Rides are also being offered.

Police believe a further attack may be imminent with the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raising the country’s threat level to critical on Wednesday.

The threat level hasn’t been raised to critical since the 2007 attempted car bombing of Glasgow airport on 30 June.

But despite the threat of another attack, people are opening their doors and arms for one another.

“[There’s] no lock down, it’s almost kind of like the opposite. People are opening their doors for anyone affected, if they need a room to stay the night, a lift somewhere, a place to charge their phone to ring someone,” the student said.

“People are worried, but most people are showing so much love for those affected it’s actually quite heartwarming to see.”

Police announced Tuesday night a 23-year-old man has been arrested in South Manchester in regard to the attack.

The police also executed two warrants in relation to the attack and over 400 police officers worked on the operation.

Chief Constable Hopkins said they have “significant resources” that have been used for both investigation and patrols across the city.

Police are working with the National Counter Terrorist Policing Network and UK intelligence services to establish more details about the man who carried out the attack.

Ariana Grande has described herself as “broken” and “sorry” on twitter.

The pop-star is set to tour at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on 4 September, as well as in Sydney and Brisbane.

Ticketek Australia posted to Facebook on Tuesday announcing they are awaiting comment from the tour’s promoter and that unofficial statements stating the tour has been cancelled are pure speculation.

“A decision might not be made for some days yet regarding the Australian tour dates,” it read.

The post was later removed and replaced with more sensitive words upon public criticism.

“Our deepest sympathies and love go out to the people of Manchester,” it now reads.

Although no links between the Manchester attack and Victoria have been made, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane told 3AW Drive on Tuesday that Victoria Police will increase their visible presence at events this weekend.

“We’ll push as many of those visible resources as we can out to the front of venues and arenas and railway stations to make sure we’re doing everything can to keep an eye on the crowd as they approach,” he said.

“If we can get them in safely, then hopefully we have a safe event.”

Emergency numbers have also been established for people concerned about love ones who have not returned home, 0161 856 9400 or 0161 856 9900.

Those with footage of the incident have been asked to upload videos to ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or ukpoliceimageappeal.com.

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