Friday 21 July 2017

'A ray of sunshine' - First victims of Manchester terror attack named, girl (8) among those dead

  • Police say 22 dead, at least 59 injured
  • First victims confirmed as Georgina Bethany Callander (18), Saffie Rose Roussos (8) and John Atkinson (26)
  • Lone male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device
  • A man has been arrested in connection with the attack
  • 'From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry' - Ariana Grande
Saffie Rose Roussos (8) and Georgina Bethany Callander (18) have been confirmed dead
Saffie Rose Roussos (8) and Georgina Bethany Callander (18) have been confirmed dead

Gabriel Samuels

An eight-year-old girl has been confirmed dead after becoming separated from her mother and sister during the Manchester terror attack.

Saffie Rose Roussos died of her injuries after a terrorist committed an atrocity at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night.

Saffie Rose Roussos
Saffie Rose Roussos

The headteacher at her school, Chris Upton, told the Guardian: "Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone ".

Saffie-Rose's mum and sister are being treated for shrapnel injuries in separate hospitals.

An 18-year-old girl and a 26-year-old man have also been confirmed dead.

Georgina Bethany Callander, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, was one of 22 people killed by the blast as she left the Ariana concert at the 21,000-capacity venue.

She was a student at Runshaw College in nearby Leyland, and was on the cusk of finishing the second year of her health and social care course. The college expressed its "enormous sadness" at the news of her death and said it would be offering counselling to students.

On Saturday, Georgina tweeted that she was "so excited" to see the pop star, who she was previously pictured with two years ago at a concert.

Georgina Bethany Callander, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, pictured with her idol Ariana Grande
Georgina Bethany Callander, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, pictured with her idol Ariana Grande

The teenager's friends paid tribute to her, describing her as a "beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul", someone who "lit up the room" and "a ray of sunshine".

She was rushed to hospital and died with her mother at her bedside, according to the the Evening Standard.

Sophie Jauregui, who said she was Georgina's best friend, tweeted: "I hope you rest in peace my darling. I love you so much and will always miss you."

Another friend posted: "Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you."

The actor Sean Maguire, who starred in the fantasy show Once Upon a Time, paid tribute to the "young and sweet" teenager he met at a convention last month. "My love to her and all the families of the victims," he tweeted.

Another star of the programme, Karen David, published a message of condolence on her Instagram account, saying she was "so angry that such a young and promising life has been stolen away".

The teenager was said to be a big fan of the show, as well as liking Marvel comics movies and the CW show iZombie. Georgina regularly sought to have photos taken with her favourite stars, which she posted on Instagram and Twitter.

Greater Manchester Police named John Atkinson as another killed in last night's bombing. He was a 26-year-old from Bury who has been described as a "beautiful soul" by those who knew him.

John Atkinson
John Atkinson

Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the terror attack at Manchester Arena, David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service has said.

It is the worst terror attack in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7 July London bombings in 2005.

Here is what we know so far:

An injured woman is helped out of the Manchester Arena after last night’s blast at a gig by Ariana Grande, which left 19 dead
Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Police stand by a cordoned off street close to the Manchester Arena. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Concert goers react after fleeing the Manchester Arena after the explosion.
Concert goers wait to be picked up at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack during a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in Manchester
A tweet from U.S. singer Ariana Grande is seen as she makes her first comment since a bombing at her concert in Manchester
Armed police man roadblocks outside the arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. Photo: PA
A police officer escorts people near the Manchester Arena
Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People running down stairs as they attempt to exit the Manchester Arena after a blast
Police corden off an area close to the Box Office entrance to the Manchester Arena. Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Emergency services at the scene. Photo: PA
A police officer talks to locals outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Armed police officers stand outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
An armoured police Land Rover drives away from the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
People sit by the side of the road next to a police cordon outside the Manchester Arena. Photo: Reuters
Still image taken from video shows a street scene near Manchester Arena after the blast
Armed police block a road near to the Manchester Arena

* 22 people have died and 59 have been injured in the blast. A total of 60 ambulances attended the incident. Emergency services received 240 calls following the incident.

* The explosion rocked the Manchester Arena at the conclusion of a performance by the American star Ariana Grande.

* Greater Manchester Police said the male attacker, who died in the blast, was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated and officials are trying to determine whether he acted alone.

*A man (23) has been arrested in connection with the attack, Greater Manchester Police said.

* Many of the fans at the concert were young people. The blast sparked panic as thousands of people rushed for the exits, witnesses said.

* Manchester Arena said the explosion happened outside the venue, as people began streaming from the doors.

* Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the venue at around 10.35pm and approach roads were closed.

* They blast is "being treated as a terrorist incident".

* Manchester Victoria station was evacuated and trains cancelled.

* Manchester Arena is the largest indoor arena in Europe and can hold 21,000 people.

* It is unclear where exactly the blast occurred, but initial reports indicated it happened either just outside the Manchester Arena or near a foyer.

* A "controlled explosion" was carried out by police at the Cathedral Gardens area near Manchester Arena shortly after 1.30am.

* The Prime Minister condemned what was being treated as an "appalling terrorist attack" and said she would chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee on Tuesday.

* Police said the suspicious item at the centre of the controlled explosion was just abandoned clothing.

* The victims are being treated at six hospitals across Greater Manchester, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

* Theresa May suspended her British General Election campaign following the news, while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron cancelled a campaign tour to Gibraltar.

*If discovered to be carried out by terrorists, it would become the worst atrocity in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

* Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

* Police are appealing for people to share their footage and images of the incident or the aftermath of the incident to a closed portal online, where they can begin an analysis for their investigation.

* What about the June 8 election? British PM May's ruling Conservative Party, which has a big lead in opinion polls, is preparing to suspend election campaigning due to the blast.

* No militant group has claimed responsibility so far but Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media. Twitter accounts affiliated to the militant Islamist group have used hashtags referring to the blast to post celebratory messages, with some users encouraging similar attacks elsewhere.

* The blast occurred on the anniversary of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, who was hacked to death on a London street on May 22, 2013 Rigby's gruesome murder gained international notoriety when Michael Adebolajo was filmed by passers-by standing in the street with blood-soaked hands trying to justify the attack.

Independent News Service

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