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Eyewitnesses describe Manchester blast horror and chaos

By Bo Leung in London | | Updated: 2017-05-23 21:57

Concert-goers and eyewitnesses described the carnage and chaos following the explosion at the Manchester arena which killed 22 and injured 59.

- Nicky Betteride who was at the Ariana Grande concert with her daughter, Summer told the BBC: "All of a sudden there was a huge bang and then within seconds people behind me started screaming and running, running past us, so I grabbed Summer and said 'run' and we started running with everybody else, there were hundreds of people running. We got to the stairs and everyone was pushing... trying to get down as quickly as we could."

- Speaking to the Guardian, Majid Khan, 22, said: "A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena. It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.

- Erin McDougle, 20, from Newcastle, also echoed other witnesses' accounts of a loud bomb-like noise and the panic that followed: "There was a loud bang at the end of the concert. The lights were already on so we knew it wasn't part of the show," He told the Guardian, "At first we thought it was a bomb. There was a lot of smoke. People started running out. When we got outside the arena there were dozens of police vans and quite a few ambulances."

- Twenty-year-old Jess was with her sister Hannah, 17, at the concert. Jess described the moment she heard the huge explosion to the Manchester Evening News, "We had just come through the main doors near the McDonalds and we'd stopped just a few metres away. I just heard this blast and knew straight away what it was," she said, "My sister was on the floor face down. She had been thrown down, a few people had. I don't know how I wasn't."

"I knew what it was. I could see smoke and that sound could not have been anything else. I just knew we had to get out of there. My sister picked herself up and her hand was covered in blood. It's badly damaged. I just grabbed her and screamed ‘you need to run' and dragged her to the football museum".

- Gary Walker, from Leeds, was with his wife in the foyer waiting to pick up his two daughters who were at the concert. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I was waiting for the kids to come out. We heard the last song, and quite a few people were flooding out and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke. "I felt a bit of pain in my foot and my leg. My wife said ‘I need to lie down'. I lay her down, she'd got a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. I was about three metres from the actual explosion."

- A concertgoer called Sarah told Radio Manchester: "I heard the explosion. Everyone was shoving and pushing. There were so many little kids in there. I couldn't get out and there were crowds of people blocking everywhere. "By the time I got outside there were so many people crying and standing in the road. It was absolute chaos. I saw people covered in blood. I have never been in a situation like this before."

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