Beautiful little girl’ was at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester with her mother and sister when the explosion happened
A “beautiful little girl” has been named as a victim of the suspected suicide attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which has left at least 22 people dead and 59 injured.
Eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos was at the concert with her mother, Lisa, and sister Ashlee Bromwich. It is understood they are being treated in hospital.
Chris Upton, the headteacher at Tarleton Community primary school, where the eight-year-old was a pupil, said: “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”
The news of her death had come as a tremendous shock, he added. “The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.” The tight-knit school would be helping staff and pupils to cope with the shocking news, he said.
The first victim to be named in the aftermath of the attack was 18-year-old Georgina Callander.
Runshaw College, where Callander was a student, released a statement, saying: “It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College … Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family, and all of those affected by this loss.”
The former Bishop Rawstorne pupil was in the second year of a health and social care course at the college, which said it was offering counselling with a dedicated student support team to people close to the teenager.
A crowdfunding page set up by two people Georgina knew from YouTube to help with her funeral costs had raised more than £1,500 within two hours of being launched.
A man from Bury has also been named among the victims of Monday night’s attack. Friends of John Atkinson, 26, from Radcliffe paid tribute to him, reported the Manchester Evening News.
On Facebook, one friend, Taliè Andrèa, called him “a beautiful soul”. Tracey Crolla wrote: “Thinking of all the Atkinsons at this very sad time. John Atkinson you turned into an amazing young man so kind and thoughtful you will be missed by everyone x x.”
Nana Julie Mills said: “Just heard one of my good friends whom I’ve known since he was a little boy passed away last night. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP John Atkinson.”
Parents of other missing concert-goers continued to search for their children the day after the Manchester Arena attack, visiting hospitals and posting photos of their loved ones on social media.
About 21,000 people, many of them children and teenagers, were in the arena when a bomb exploded in the foyer at about 10.30pm.
Twelve children under the age of 16 were among the 59 casualties taken to hospital after the terror attack, confirmed by David Ratcliffe, the medical director of North West ambulance service.
Greater Manchester police have told people who need help or assistance to go to gate 11 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City football club’s ground. An emergency phone number set up to help people is 0800 096 0095.
Deborah Hutchinson, from Gateshead, went to Manchester on Tuesday morning in the hope of finding her teenage daughter, Courtney, who has been missing since the attack. In an appeal on Facebook, she wrote that Courtney was with her partner, Philip Tron, and by 8am on Tuesday neither had been located.
She wrote: “My daughter Courtney Boyle and partner Philip Tron have gone missing tonight in a attack at Manchester tonight please share and help find them I need them home safe xX.”
The search for missing victims was complicated by many sharing apparently fake reports that the Holiday Inn in Manchester had taken in 60 children without guardians. The hotel told the Guardian it provided support to people immediately after the attack but could not confirm reports of large numbers of unaccompanied children.
In a statement, it said: “Our thoughts are with all the victims of this horrendous tragedy as well as their friends and family and the people of Manchester. The hotel teams at Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre – Arena have both been working closely with the emergency services throughout the night, supporting members of the public who needed immediate refuge. The hotels are fully operational and continue to offer support.
“A number of other Holiday Inn hotels in the wider area also offered those impacted a place to stay – as the wider Manchester community did – through social channels.”
A grid purporting to be of missing victims who had been found included fake photographs, according to an article by BuzzFeed, which debunked several false news stories being circulated.
Pauline Gorman from Darlington contacted the Guardian to say a Twitter account claiming to search for a girl named Lucy was actually using photos of her daughters Anna, 18, and Niamh, 13, taken from social media. “Please come home Lucy and let us know you’re safe,” said one tweet, which was shared more than 1,600 times.
The account was closed after Gorman reported it to Twitter and Durham police. “A lot of people are actually believing this and trying to help … Looking at the pictures it twists your stomach up,” Gorman said. “There are children who have actually lost their lives. I just don’t know how anybody could do something like this.”
Charlotte Campbell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, was still missing. She said she had spoken to her at the concert. “She’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time, and thanking me for letting her go,” she said. Olivia was with her friend Adam, who was found in hospital, but Olivia had not been seen.
Campbell said: “I’m at home phoning everybody: hospitals, police, the centres that the children have been put in. Her dad’s in Manchester looking for her. I’ve got friends looking for her. I’ve got people I don’t even know looking for her, people messaging me, saying: ‘We’ve got her photo, looking for her, we’ll get in contact if we see her’. And I’m just hearing nothing. Her phone’s dead.”
She said social media had been wonderful for spreading the news about Olivia being missing. She added: “They’ve basically told me to stay put and wait for a phone call. I daren’t leave the house just in case she somehow gets home.”
The band Little Mix tweeted an appeal for information on Chloe Rutherford, 17, and her friend Liam Curry, 19, who have been missing since the blast. The pair are from South Shields, South Tyneside, the hometown of two members of the band.
On Twitter her brother, Scott Rutherford, wrote: “No words, they aren’t on any of the hospital lists, people of Manchester in houses please someone tell me you’ve taken them in for the night.”
In the early hours of the morning, a family from the Philippines told the Guardian they were searching for a missing loved one at Manchester Royal infirmary.
A 17-year-old girl, who asked not to be named, said she was looking for her mother, last seen in the post-explosion chaos. Her mum’s injured boyfriend had been located, but her mother remained missing.
Manchester Royal infirmary’s accident and emergency department was in “complete lockdown”, according to staff. “It’s a crime scene,” said one, pointing to police forensics officers going in and out of the hospital with plastic evidence bags.
Police officers guarded the doors, behind two red signs saying “major incident – no entry”. As ambulances began to arrive at about midnight, staff cleared A&E of all patients unconnected to the blast.
At about 2.30am two more ambulances pulled into the children’s A&E, followed by a van carrying blood supplies. Throughout the night relatives arrived to see if their loved ones were at the hospital. Some found them, but others left again to check other hospitals.
Steve Rotheram, the Liverpool city region metro mayor, said his daughters had been at the venue and thanked the taxi driver who “eventually got through the traffic to pick up my two girls”.
Stuart Aspinall, 25, said he was trying to find his friend Martyn Hett after they were separated towards the end of the gig. Aspinall shared photos of the 29-year-old, from Stockport, on Facebook.
He wrote: “The more news that is coming out, the scarier this is getting. There was an explosion at the Ariana Grande concert tonight in Manchester and I haven’t seen my friend Martyn since.”
His brother Dan told the Guardian that he still had no news of his brother. He appealed for people to donate blood and added: “I and my family condemn in the strongest possible way anyone who’s using this attack to push any political agenda today.”
Greg Southern said he was sitting in the same row as Hett. “I don’t know him but he was on the row I was on. He was stood on the exit steps on the end of our row,” Southern said. He recognised him from photos shared on Twitter. “We were at the other side of the arena from where the explosion took place. The concert had just finished and the lights had just come on. There was this absolutely tremendous bang and everybody panicked at that point.”
The audience included many young teenagers, he said. “I was there with my boyfriend, but next to us there were maybe three groups who must have been young teens, 15 or 16. In the row behind was a mother with children. The majority of people were quite young.”
The parents and friends of Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, both 15, from the Hebridean island of Barra, issued urgent appeals after they went missing. One of the girls’ aunts confirmed the pair had not contacted relatives since the blast.
On Facebook, Margaret MacNeil said: “Please please please share! My niece and her friend were at the Ariana Grande concert tonight and there has been no contact since the explosion. Please let us find the girls safe and well. They are Eilidh MacLeod and Laura MacIntyre.”
Laura’s father, Micheal, also issued an urgent request on Twitter for help in tracing his daughter.
Angus MacNeil, the Scottish National party MP for the Western Isles, said he knew the MacIntyres, and had spoken to both girls’ fathers on Tuesday morning. “I just can’t begin to get to the depths of their worries,” he said. “They are without doubt missing.”
He said Eilidh MacLeod’s father and members of the MacIntyre family were travelling to Manchester.
Jordan Howe was searching hospitals in Manchester to try to find his missing stepmother, Alison Howe. “We haven’t heard anything yet. I am just about to go into another hospital, we have been looking in the hospitals for her,” he said.
Sasha Howe, from Oldham, said her mother and family friend Lisa Lees had gone to the arena to pick up their daughters from the concert. The two girls had been found, but Lees and Howe were both still missing. “[We’ve] heard nothing,” Sasha told the Guardian.
She posted a picture of her mother and Lisa Lees on Facebook, writing: “Please get in contact if anything is heard and share this.”
Another of the missing was Kaia Kopusar, 17, according to her friend.
Ecrin Javakovic said Kaia was from France and had travelled to Manchester for the gig. “There is still no news of her,” she said. Kaia’s parents, who are in France, had been phoning hospitals in Manchester for news of her but had heard nothing, Javakovic said.
The Polish foreign ministry confirmed that Polish citizens were among those missing after the attack.
York College student Alex Klis made an appeal to find her parents, Angelika and Marcin, who have not been seen since the blast.
In a Facebook post, she said: “Anyone who is in any safe place or hospital in Manchester, if anyone comes across my parents please please let me know as they’ve been missing ever since the attack, this is a picture taken tonight so this is exactly what they were wearing.”
York College said it understood two students had been affected by the blast. In a statement the college said: “One student sustained a head injury, the other is searching for her missing parents. We will do all we can to help and support those affected by this awful tragedy and we are shocked and deeply saddened by what has happened.”
Another person missing is 14-year-old Nell Jones. A friend of the family, Louise Newbould, tweeted:
Brad Jessop tweeted:
Kelly Brewster, 32, a local government worker is also missing, the South West News Service reported.
Paul Dryhurst said his niece went to the arena with her sister, Claire Booth, 34, and Booth’s daughter, Hollie, 11.
Booth and Hollie were being treated in hospital on Tuesday for horrific shrapnel wounds, but the family had no news of Brewster.
Speaking from his home in Sheffield, Dryhurst said the trio were walking in single file out of the arena when the blast struck, breaking Booth’s jaw and her daughter’s legs.
“After the impact Claire had gone to Hollie but when she looked up she couldn’t find Kelly. They lost her in all the commotion,” he said. “We’ve now not heard anything for so long and are holding on to the old saying ‘no news is good news’ but the longer it goes on, the worse it feels. We may appear all right on the outside but inside we are churning.”
An emergency number is available for those concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area. The National Casualty Bureau number to call is 0800 096 0095