Police vans and ambulances are seen outside the Manchester Arena in northern England where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing. Picture: Jon Super/Reuters

London - Ariana Grande's drummer says the "painful memory" of the terrorist attack at her concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night will "live" with him and the touring crew "forever".

Aaron Spears has given a statement to Fox News' Steve Chenevey via text message, in which he described the terrifying moment they were told to immediately evacuate the venue in England.

He, nor Ariana or anyone else that is part of the live show were aware that a suspected nail bomb had gone off until they were out of the building.

The musician is still in "disbelief" of the horrific event, which saw 22 people killed and more than 50 individuals injured by the explosion – believed to be a nail bomb – which tore through the foyer outside the main hall of the venue.

A screenshot of Aaron's message on Chenevey's Twitter page reads: "We finished the show and were walking back to our dressing rooms and BOOM!!! We could hear people. We had no idea what it was ... There was all kinds of speculation as to what was going on.

"Like 5 minutes after getting to the room, security came in and informed us that we had to evacuate the building immediately ... it was then that we realised this was serious.

"Initially we thought that the sound was all kinds of things, but it didn't hit that this was a bomb until we were evacuated and they told us exactly what was going on ... It's so heartbreaking because so many little ones attend our shows ... I just keep thinking about them.

"I'm extremely grateful that no one on the touring crew was physically hurt but this painful memory will live with us all forever ... I'm still just in disbelief ... It's so surreal. (sic)"

Aaron's account comes after Ariana, 23, said she was left "broken" over the deaths of her fans and made the decision to "indefinitely suspend" the rest of her 'Dangerous Woman Tour' dates.

In the wake of the horrific incident – responsibility for which has been claimed by ISIS – she posted on Twitter: "Broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words. (sic)"

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