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Huge Manchester drone display to mark seven years of arena bombing that killed 22 Ariana Grande fans called off

A huge Manchester drone display – designed to commemorate the victims of the 2017 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert – has been called off at the last minute.

The event was set to take place tonight (May 22), marking seven years since the terrorist attack took place at the singer’s concert in 2017 and claimed the lives of 22 fans while leaving 59 wounded.

Fans were leaving the show when a bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber in a public foyer. The lone attacker died in the explosion from what is said to be a homemade bomb. The bomber has since been named and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Now, seven years on, Manchester was set to see over 100 drones light up the sky over the city’s Glade of Light Memorial. It was set to start at 10:19pm and end at 22:31 – the time the bomb was detonated.

It has been confirmed today that the tribute will no longer be taking place due to weather concerns.

According to weather reports, the Greater Manchester area is among the areas hit by a yellow Met Office alert for rain today and tomorrow, meaning the event is no longer set to go ahead as scheduled.

Memorial candles are seen during a vigil one week after a bomb attack at Manchester Arena. CREDIT: JON SUPER/AFP via Getty Images

Among those who died at the attack was eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos. The concept behind the display was brought up by her father, Andrew, with the help of Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham.

As highlighted by Manchester Evening News, Andrew Roussos had worked with a specialist company to create the display, which he said would be “absolutely beautiful”.

“It’s in danger of becoming just another church service and another minute’s silence, which is important, but if you’re not careful, you end up only remembering the attack,” he said (via BBC News).

“They were at a music gig, they were all vibrant lively people, a light show is more fitting with their personalities. It would be lovely to remember them in a positive light, rather than what happened to them.”

While the drone display has been cancelled, Manchester’s Victoria Station will once again fall silent to pay tribute to the victims. A minute’s silence will be held at the station during a special memorial service at 12pm.

Another minute of silence will take place at 10.31pm to mark the moment of the attack.

The attack was carried out by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, who detonated a device in a rucksack as crowds left the Ariana Grande concert. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in the UK since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

Ariana Grande performs on stage during the One Love Manchester Benefit Concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England.
Ariana Grande performs on stage during the One Love Manchester Benefit Concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on June 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Greater Manchester Police estimate there were 940 victims of the attack who survived. 237 of which were physically injured, and 111 of which required hospital treatment.

Alongside eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson lost their lives in the explosion.

Eilidh MacLeod, a 14-year-old from Barra in Scotland, was pronounced dead too, as was mother-of-three Michelle Kiss and off-duty police officer Elaine McIver.

Wendy Fawell, a 50-year-old mother from Otley in West Yorkshire who was attending the concert with her daughter, also died, as did 14-year-old Nell Jones and teenage couple Chloe Rutherford (17) and Liam Curry (19).

Kelly Brewster, a 32-year-old office worker from Sheffield, Martyn Hett, a 29-year-old PR executive and writer from Stockport, mother of three Jane Tweddle and 15-year-old Olivia Campbell all died in the attack too.

Alison Howe and Lisa Lees, two mothers from Greater Manchester who had gone to the arena to pick up their daughters from the concert, were also confirmed dead, as were two Polish nationals: Angelika and Marcin Klis, aged 40 and 42 respectively.

To remember the victims, Nickelback teamed up with The Lottery Winners earlier this month for a live cover of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in the city.

The Canadian rockers kicked off the UK leg of their ‘Get Rollin’ world tour last week (May 16) with The Lottery Winners serving as opening support. On Monday (May 20), the two bands performed a rendition of Oasis’ 1996 hit track in Manchester’s AO Arena for the victims.

“I just want to dedicate this to the 22 Manchester bees. Forever buzzing,” Thom Rylance told the crowd before jumping into the song.

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