Parents' desperate search for missing kids amid Ariana Grande blast

Yahoo7 News with Yahoo UK

Desperate parents of Ariana Grande fans are turning to social media to try to find their missing children.

At least 19 fatalities have been reported after explosions were heard at the Manchester Arena show on Tuesday morning.

Facebook has switched on its safety feature to assist but multiple heartbreaking posts are appearing across social media platforms.

The social media network’s safety feature is only activated during major emergencies and allows users in the area to flag themselves as safe.

One woman on Twitter said she was trying to find a six-year-old. Another was looking for their teenage son. One person was in a desperate search to find an internet friend who had fallen silent after the suspected attack.

"My six-year-old niece was in Manchester tonight for the concert. We haven't heard from her/ her guardian and are sick with worry," Charlotte Hall wrote.

A woman speaks to police in Manchester. Photo: Getty Images

The service then notifies people nearby and closely connected to them.

Popular with young people and teenagers, Grande’s concert had drawn thousands in the northern England city.

Now reports are emerging of distraught parents and loved ones desperately trying to confirm the safety of concert goers close to them.

Police are treating the incident as a possible terrorist attack.

Concert-goers described scenes of panic in the aftermath of the blast.

“It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit Trinity Way and that was blocked so everyone was just running to any exit they could find as quickly as they could,” Majid Khan, 22, said.

Police and fans close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Getty Images

“Everyone was in a huge state of panic, calling each other as some had gone to the toilet whilst this had gone off, so it was just extremely disturbing for everyone there.”

Yahoo UK reports Jade Baynes, 18, from Hull, was told to run from the area by armed police after leaving the concert arena.

Police say they will treat the incident as a terrorist attack until they confirm otherwise. Photo: Getty Images

In a statement police said: “This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

A police update confirmed at least 19 deaths and 50 injuries.