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Relatives of a woman missing in the Manchester bombing told how victims were left with metal bolts embedded in their bodies.
Paul Dryhurst’s niece Kelly Brewster, 32, is feared to have been killed when she visited the Arena with her sister Claire Booth, and Claire’s daughter Hollie, 11.
All three were caught in the blast and Claire, 34 and Hollie were today being treated in hospital for horrific shrapnel wounds.
Speaking from his home in Sheffield, South Yorks., Paul said Claire and Hollie were having to have bolts surgically removed from their bodies.
Lorry driver Paul, 59, said: “Kelly has shielded Hollie and Claire from the damage.
“The three were walking out in single file, with Claire in front, Hollie behind her, and Kelly behind her.
“When the bomb has gone off the impact has broken Claire’s jaw and broken Hollie’s legs.
“They are both currently in hospital having nuts and bolts removed from all places.
“Claire is having a bolt removed from her face and poor Hollie is having bolts removed all the way up her legs.”
Other eyewitness accounts painted a scene of chaos and carnage inside the arena.
One father has described seeing “carnage everywhere” in the wake of an explosion at Manchester Arena that killed at least 22 people and injured dozens, including children.
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.
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.”
He added: “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.”
In the aftermath of the attack, local residents showed remarkable compassion and opened their homes to victims as #roomformanchester trended on social media.
The Holiday Inn also took in up to 60 children in the immediate aftermath.
Theresa May described the attack as “appalling” and Donald Trump said the perpetrators were “evil losers“.
The first victim, 16-year-old Georgina Callander, has also been named.
One man at the concert with his sister described how the apparent explosion hit the venue as they were leaving the building.
Majid Khan, 22, said: “I and my sister, along with a lot of others, were seeing Ariana Grande perform at Manchester Arena, and we were all exiting the venue when a huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena.
EXPLOSION AT MANCHESTER ARENA AND EVERYONE RAN OUT SO SCARY???? pic.twitter.com/pJbUBoELtE
— ♡♡ (@hannawwh) 22 May 2017
“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 Trinity Way and that was blocked so everyone was just running to any exit they could find as quickly as they could.”
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.”
Greater Manchester Police said 22 people were dead and 59 other people injured in the explosion.
The force said in a statement: “This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”
“Just before 10.35pm on Monday 22 May 2017, police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena.
“So far 19 people have been confirmed dead, with around 50 others injured.
“This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”
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.”
A woman who said she worked at the arena as staff but did not want to be named said: “All I know is it sounded like a bomb.”
Another concert-goer, a woman with her husband and three young children, said as the concert ended here was a loud bang and everyone leaving the venue then rushed back in.
She said: “I just freaked. Everyone started screaming. We did not see any explosion but it smelt bad, like burning.”
Several people on the streets who had been to the gig were visibly upset and in tears and did not want to speak.