Friday 21 July 2017

'If I don't make it home, I love you,' - teen's text to mum after concert blast

Adrienne Cullen with daughters Yasmine and Saskia. Saskia was at the concert at Manchester Arena when the bomber struck
Adrienne Cullen with daughters Yasmine and Saskia. Saskia was at the concert at Manchester Arena when the bomber struck

Esther Hayden

An Irish teen caught up in the Manchester terror attack sent her mum a heartbreaking text following the explosion which said: "If I don't make it home, I love you."

Frantic mum Adrienne Cullen received the message from her daughter Saskia (16) at 10.37pm on Monday night, minutes after the bomb struck the Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena.

Adrienne is originally from Arklow, Co Arklow, but has been living in Mossley, just outside Manchester, for the past 15 years.

Saskia, who is a massive Ariana Grande fan, got a ticket from her friend for the concert at the last minute.

"Saskia is just totally traumatised," said Adrienne.

"We all are really. She didn't sleep at all on Monday night after it happened. She was just leaving the concert when she heard an almighty bang and she thought there had been a shooting. At 10.37pm she sent me a text which read, 'Mum, there's been a shooting. If I don't make it home, I love you'.

"I was on the verge of collapse after reading it and then three minutes later she rang me to say there were dead bodies everywhere she looked. There was one person lying in a pool of blood with her eyes open and her friend was shouting at her to get up and move.

"She saw a small child with a hole in the side of his cheek in his father's arms and his father was just screaming hysterically.

"Everyone was in a panic.

"Saskia lost the girl she was with at one stage and had to go back for her.

"Saskia was on the phone to her sister Yasmine who kept telling them to just get out of the arena."

Saskia and her friend managed to flee the area and went to the Deansgate area where they were eventually collected.

Singer Ariana Grande last night vowed to return to Manchester to hold a benefit concert to raise funds for the victims of the attack.

The US pop star said "we won't let hate win" as she called for people to come together following the bombing.

Irish Independent

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