Tuesday 22 August 2017

A scene of childish happiness that turned into unimaginable carnage

Karen Moore and her daughter Molly Steed (14) leave the Park Inn where they were given refuge after last night’s explosion. Photo: GETTY
Karen Moore and her daughter Molly Steed (14) leave the Park Inn where they were given refuge after last night’s explosion. Photo: GETTY

Gordon Rayner

Ariana Grande had just finished the final song of her sell-out concert, and excited children clutching giant pink balloons or wearing kitten ears - Grande's trademark - were filing out of the Manchester Arena with parents eager to get them home to bed.

For many, it was their first concert, in some cases a birthday treat. They had come from all over the north of England and Scotland to see their idol, and some had made their way towards the exits early to beat the rush ahead of their long journeys home.

Just after 10.30pm, Salman Abedi walked into the scene of innocent joy and detonated a device laced with screws and bolts. The explosion shook the entire building, and seconds later 22 children and adults, the youngest aged just eight, lay dead or dying, with 119 others injured.

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