HK venue plans tight security for Grande concert

AsiaWorld-Expo may deploy hand-held scanners and sniffer dogs. File photo: RTHK

AsiaWorld-Expo may deploy hand-held scanners and sniffer dogs. File photo: RTHK

Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo on Tuesday said it will be stepping up security ahead of an Ariana Grande concert here on September 21.

An explosion struck a concert by the American singer attended by thousands of young music fans in Manchester overnight on Monday, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens in what police were treating as a terrorist attack. 

The former child star who has built up a sizeable teen following is to perform in Hong Kong as a part of her Dangerous Woman tour, to promote her latest album. 

A spokeswoman for AsiaWorld-Expo said security for all concerts at the arena will be tightened in light of the Manchester bombing and urged organisers to come up with measures to make sure the events are safe.

On top of bag checks, concert-goers will also have to be screened by hand held scanners, the spokeswoman said. 

AsiaWorld-Expo is also looking at the possibility of introducing security wristbands and deploying sniffer dogs.

In her first reaction to the attack, Grande said she felt at a loss for words. “Broken,” she wrote in her first reaction on Twitter. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” she wrote. 

Police said the incident was “currently being treated as a terrorist incident,” but no one has so far claimed the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned it as “an appalling terrorist attack”. 

Meanwhile New York authorities said they have stepped up security at sensitive sites, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets. (Additional reporting by AP, AFP)