Mother tells inquiry her world was ‘torn apart’ by Manchester Arena bombing

Marion MacLeod’s daughter Eilidh was one of 22 victims of the attack.

Mother tells inquiry her world was ‘torn apart’ by Manchester Arena bombing

A mother told how she heard an enormous explosion and her world was “torn apart” as her teenage daughter died in the Manchester Arena bombing, the public inquiry into the terror attack heard.

Marion MacLeod had arrived outside the arena to collect her daughter Eilidh, 14, and her friend who had been to the Ariana Grande concert.

Mrs MacLeod, from the island of Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, had travelled south with her daughter, a music lover and bagpipe player, staying over in a hotel in Manchester close to the Arena.

Her daughter, the middle one of three sisters, was “beyond excited” to be attending the event, Mrs MacLeod said in a statement read to the inquiry, the pair using Facetime and swapping messages during the show.

“I told that I would be there to collect her later and that I loved her.”

Later she went to meet her daughter and her friend when the show was due to finish.

She added: “As I left our hotel I messaged Eilidh asking if the concert was over and she messaged back saying it was the last song.

“It was 10.29pm.

“I was just about at the corner across the road from the Arena where I told Eilidh I would be waiting for them when I heard an enormous explosion.

“The ground shook and that was when our whole world was torn apart.”

Eilidh entered the City Room, the foyer to the Arena, at 10.30pm at the end of the show.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device, packed with thousands of nuts a minute later with Eilidh standing just four metres away.

Footage from the City Room minutes later showed Eilidh, who attended Castlebay Community School, lying on her right hand side and not moving and by 10.51pm she had been covered with clothing.

At 23.45pm a label was placed on her by a paramedic to identify her as deceased.

A general view inside the room where the Manchester Arena Inquiry is being held (Peter Byrne/PA)
A general view inside the room where the Manchester Arena Inquiry is being held (Peter Byrne/PA)

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry said: “Eilidh lived on the beautiful island of Barra and the beauty of the surroundings where she was brought up shone out in her personality.

“She enriched the lives of many.”

The inquiry, sitting in Manchester, is look at how and in what circumstances each of the 22 victims died on May 22 2017, and to probe whether any inadequacies in the emergency response contributed to individual deaths and/or if they could have been prevented.

The hearing continues.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News