Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins has revealed that she was caught up in the Manchester Arena explosions and shared an eye-witness account of the shock and confusion that happened after the attack. The actress, who plays Victoria Sugden in the ITV soap, was leaving the Ariana Grande concert when loud bangs were heard.
STORY: Manchester Attack - all of the emergency details
Speaking to Sky News after leaving the venue, Isabel explained what had happened, saying: "The concert had just finished and we were all leaving and then there was a big bang to our left. Everybody ran away from that immediate area.
Emmerdale star Isabel Hodgins was at Manchester Arena at the time of the attack
"We didn't know what had happened. People were screaming and running but then it kind of died down," she said. "We didn't know if a balloon had gone off, because balloons had been released in the concert so we didn't know if it was that."
STORY: James Corden and David Beckham lead celebrity tributes to victims of Manchester attack
The 23-year-old said that concert-goers were panicking and climbing over chairs to try to escape the arena. "As we got out, everybody was screaming and crying and then the corridor was full of – it smelled of burning and there was quite a lot of smoke as we were leaving," Isabel said. "The area had been blocked off so we couldn't go any further but we managed to get out quite quickly and then there was just lots of police and ambulances arriving as we were leaving."
22 people were killed in the explosion
It has now been confirmed that 22 people were killed during the attack on Monday evening, while a further 59 people were injured. Ariana Grande's team has issued a short, heartfelt statement following the incident, which occurred just minutes after the singer had finished her show. It read: "Tonight, our hearts are broken. We mourn the lives of children and loved one taken by this cowardly act. We are thankful for the selfless service tonight of Manchester's first responders… We ask all of you to hold the victims, their families, and all those affected in your hearts and prayers."