Paula Robinson, 48, from West Dalton about 40 miles east of Manchester, said she was at the train station next to the arena with her husband when she felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls screaming and running away from arena.
"I think it's so associated with concerts more than anything else", the elder Dearing said. Hours after the bloodshed, desperate parents said they were still trying unsuccessfully to reconnect with children.
News, Ariana later boarded a private plane with her mother, Joan (who had taken some concertgoers backstage to safety after the explosion went off), and returned to Boca Raton, Florida, her hometown.
Her dramatic statement came after 22-year-old Salman Abedi, reportedly a Briton of Libyan descent, was identified as the perpetrator behind Monday's deadly attack, whose victims included an eight-year-old girl. But it will have reverberations far beyond British shores.
Attacks in cities including Paris, Nice, Brussels, St Petersburg, Berlin and London have shocked Europeans already anxious over security challenges from mass immigration and pockets of domestic Islamist radicalism.
Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere.
On Tuesday morning, upset friends and relatives were arriving at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on the advice of police to those who needed assistance after the attack.
"What comes next will be more severe on the worshippers of the cross", the Telegram posting said.
Both the so-called Islamic State, which said it was behind the attack, and al-Qaeda have a presence in Libya, but there is a possibility that Abedi travelled to their heartland in Syria for training. Her ruling Conservative Party was preparing to suspend campaigning ahead of the election due to the suspected attack. "All these things pass through my mind when she is there", Azulai said.
She said during a visit to victims in Manchester that police would look at the security of such venues.
The White House said Trump had agreed with May during their telephone conversation that the attack was "particularly wanton and depraved". She said "my dad is at work, my mum is up there"'. In a statement, Queen Elizabeth II condemned the bombing as an "act of barbarity".
London Mayor Sadiq Khan told residents to expect to see armed officers and military personnel on the streets.
After speeches by officials, people attending the vigil gathered in small groups to talk among themselves.
Together, we've gone far. May said critical status means armed soldiers may be deployed instead of police at public events such as sports matches.
A disturbing photo that posters claimed was of Manchester Arena was also widely circulated after the event, appearing to show bodies on the floor in the foyer of the building.