'˜It was like a stampede' - Derry workers at Manchester Arena speak following deadly attack

Derry people working inside Manchester Arena have given eye-witness accounts the horrific events that unfolded there overnight.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 2:42 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Dawn over Manchester the morning after a suspected terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 19 dead. (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

At 10.30pm last night two explosions went off in Manchester Arena, during an Ariana Grande Concert.

The Greater Manchester Police have since confirmed that the explosions were a suicide bombing.

The bomb has killed 22 people, including children and has left another 59 injured. Amidst the horror and confusion, as things transpired the emergency service workers rushed into the arena to help all concert goers in danger.

Taxis and buses helped people flee the area, the nearest Holiday Inn took in masses of children who had been separated from their families.

The people of Manchester took to Twitter with the hashtag #roomformanchester offering up their homes as refuge to those affected.

The Manchester Arena employs dozens of Derry natives, four of whom were working during the explosion. Speaking to Shay McGilloway, 20, he described what he witnessed, “I was about 100m away from where the bomb went off.

“I heard a huge explosion and the whole arena shook.

“Then there was just mass panic and I saw everyone running out, it was like a stampede.”

Meghan Gillespie, 20, was in one of the suites during the explosion recalls her experience, “At first I thought there was a technical difficulty, then I see kids screaming and the arena just emptied so I knew it was serious. Me and the other workers went to get our belongings and were told to get out of the building immediately.

“When I got outside, all I could see was people screaming, fainting and having panic attacks. All while paramedics and a bomb squad were rushing to the scene.

“All staff met at a safety point and we were told from there to get home as safely as we could. Thankfully the bus man let us on for free, because we had no coats, phones, keys or money.”

The act has been condemned by world leaders such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Thoughts, condolences and prayers are being sent to Manchester from all over the world.

Mancunian strength following the attack was summed up by Manchester Evening News, “In Manchester’s darkest hour, the city’s resilience and spirit shines through.”