Eyewitnesses describe ‘carnage’ and mayhem after explosion at Manchester Arena

Emergency services at Manchester Arena following an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Emergency services at Manchester Arena following an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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A FATHER has described seeing “carnage everywhere” in the wake of an explosion at Manchester Arena that left around 30 people, including children and disabled victims, lying on the floor.

The man, named Andy, said he was blown “about 30ft” by a blast that shook the building as he waited to collect his wife and daughter at the end of a concert by US artist Ariana Grande.

Emergency services at Manchester Arena after an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Emergency services at Manchester Arena after an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande concert. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

He said he later saw panicking families trying to find loved ones in the wake of the incident on Monday night.

He told BBC News: “It’s shocking what happened. Just carnage everywhere. There was a good 20 to 30 of them [victims]. Some were young kids, some were disabled people.”

Andy said he helped emergency services treat the wounded who were “scattered” by a blast near a box office.

He said: “As I was waiting an explosion went off and it threw me through the first set of doors about 30ft to the next set of doors.

“When I got up and looked around there was about 30 people scattered everywhere, some of them looked dead, they might of been unconscious but there was a lot of fatalities.

“My first thing was to run in the stadium to try and find my wife and daughter.

“When I couldn’t find them I looked back outside and the police, fire and ambulance were there and I looked at some of the bodies trying to find my family.

“Luckily they weren’t there, I managed to find them outside the arena and got them back to the hotel.”

Oliver Jones, 17, was at the concert with his 19-year-old sister.

He said: “I was in the toilet and heard a loud bang just after the concert had finished and people had started to leave.

“The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.

“I seen people running and screaming towards one direction and then many were turning around to run back the other way.

“Security was running out as well as the fans and concert goers.

“Reports of blood and people injured.”

He added: “In so much shock and panic. You see this on the news all the time and never expect it to happen to you. I just had to run and make sure me and my sister were safe.”

Footage posted online by one concert-goer shows fans filing out of the building while an announcer attempts to maintain calm.

The voice can be heard saying: “Ladies and gentleman, please take your time, there’s no need to bunch up, there are no problems here - just take your time and keep exiting the building.”

A barman at the nearby Steven Charles Snooker Club, who gave his name as Tyler, said he saw people lying on the ground covered in blood.

“We’ve had a few people in with panic attacks and in all kinds of disarray,” he told Press Association.

“We’ve got four girls here - trying to get them sorted to get picked up.

“There was a gentleman on the floor with his leg all bleeding and woman with blood down one side of her face.

“We felt something but didn’t know what it was - there was a sound like thunder.

“One girl had a panic attack and another had streaming tears, a woman had a heart attack just outside.

“It’s a lot of teenagers - they’re all in tears.”

Suzy Mitchell, 26, whose flat is opposite the venue, reported a huge bang rocking the neighbourhood.

She told the Press Association: “(I) just heard a huge bang from my bed, came out to the front of my apartments (we’re on the top floor so have perfect view) and everyone was running away in big crowds.

“The bang was so big I heard it from my room which is at the back of the apartment blocks.

“Currently lots of emergency services going to and from. But can’t see anything substantial as of yet except fleeing people and lots of cars.”

Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram tweeted: “My 2 daughters caught up in the Manchester explosion at the arena. They are thankfully safe, but I fear for others.”

He posted later: “Confirmed deaths at the Manchester arena. Feel sick to think that people have lost their lives at a gig attended by so many young people.

“All my thoughts go out to those parents waiting to hear of the safety of their children. It’s a parents worse nightmare. So, so sad.”