8-year-old girl among 22 Manchester bombing victims
Saffie Roussos was the youngest of the 22 victims in the Manchester bombing attack. She was only 8 years old.
In a statement, the head teacher of the Tarleton Community Primary School that she attended in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire, described her as “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 head teacher, Chris Upton, said her death was “a tremendous shock to all of us.”
“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking,” he said.
The schoolgirl had been at the concert with her mother, Lisa Roussos, and sister, Ashlee Bromwich, in her 20s, from Leyland, Lancashire. They are both now in separate hospitals being treated for injuries, friends said.
Desperate parents and friends posted heart-wrenching messages and pictures on social media in the search for their loved ones on Tuesday after a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at a British concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
“Please...please retweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend,”
Michael MacIntyre wrote on Twitter, alongside an image of his daughter Laura and her friend Eilidh.
Many parents were waiting for their children in and around the Manchester Arena when the blast rocked the foyer of the venue as thousands of young fans and parents streamed out following the gig on Monday evening.
While many teenagers eventually found their friends and relatives in the chaos, some were helped to safety by bystanders, others were offered free taxi rides home and dozens were taken to nearby hotels.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was one of many British artists and celebrities to help spread the word by retweeting messages and posting offers of help.
Grande, whose fan base is made up largely of teenagers and young girls, said on Twitter:
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
In the hours after the blast, picture montages of smiling faces were being circulated of teens still unaccounted for after the concert. They carried the hashtag: “#PrayForManchester.”
#ManchesterBombing was trending on Twitter around the world on Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, upset friends and relatives were arriving at Etihad Stadium in Manchester on the advice of police to those who needed assistance after the attack.
As the picture became clearer on Tuesday after the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London’s transport system in 2005, heart-warming stories of reunions began to emerge.
Riley Blackery, who had used Twitter to search for her friend Heather, shared the good news with her followers after a fellow user helped her find her friend:
UPDATE: WE GOT HOLD OF HER, SHES SAFE!! SHES OKAY
— Vicky Bates // (@RileyBlackery) May 22, 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May said from the steps of her official residence at 10 Downing Street in London that the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack and the public response was showing the best of Britain.
“The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester,” she said.
“The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together.”