Families ‘want answers’ as public inquiry starts into Manchester bombing

Families ‘want answers’ as public inquiry starts into Manchester bombing

by Tom Martin (September 2020)

A LENGTHY public inquiry is now underway into the Manchester Arena terror attack as families say “we want answers.”

Two of the 22 victims were Saffie Roussos, an eight-year-old from Leyland, and 18-year-old Georgina Callander from Tarleton.

The hearing began on Monday, September 7 and is expected to last up to six months as Paul Greaney QC, counsel to the inquiry, said there will be “no stone left unturned.”

Every aspect of the attack will be examined, including whether it could have been prevented, the emergency response and the experiences of each of the 22 people who died.

It comes more than three years after Salman Abedi set off a bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing himself and 22 others.

The parents of Saffie Roussos, Lisa and Andrew, spoke to the BBC ahead of the hearing. 

Lisa said: “I don't want to know about her injuries and what she went through. It's painful enough without knowing the details.”

Referring to the way the emergency services responded to the attack, Lisa adds: “It was just complete chaos, nobody had a clue what to do, how to react.

“It was just a complete shambles. For those people that did make mistakes, the police, fire service, MI5, for them to admit their mistakes I think would be a good thing for them, as well as us.”

But the couple do have a lot of other questions which they want answers to.

Andrew says the attack “could have been prevented, it could have been stopped and Saffie and the others could have been here with us.”

“And that's what we want out of it,” he says. “To find out why there were so many wrongs.”

Once all the evidence has been heard by the inquiry, which is expected to take up to six months, a report and recommendations will be issued.

The public inquiry follows a trial in which a jury found Hashem Abedi guilty of helping his older sibling to plan the atrocity.

He was jailed for at least 55 years on 20 August for the 22 murders.

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