A teenager who went to the concert to celebrate landing a new job has described how she desperately tried to reunite a young girl with her mother.
Arianda Grande fan Sarah Gardiner went to the gig at Manchester Arena with boyfriend Robert Kirkpatrick, but their night of celebrations ended in horror after the bomb went off.
The 19-year-old, who is originally from Shetland, and Mr Kirkpatrick were trying to navigate their way through the terrified crowd when they spotted a “young lass” in distress and went to her rescue.
Miss Gardiner, a business admin apprentice, said: “We found a young girl named Katie. She was at the concert on her own. Her friends were there but in a different area. She was meant to be meeting her mum at the Victoria Station.
“She was just a young lass who was terrified. We had to help her. I think concentrating on helping her was what was keeping us from freaking out.
“When we got to the Victoria train station, they told everyone to turn around.
“We searched with her for about 15 minutes. When we found her mum, she just thanked us over and over and hugged us. Her mother and sister were both in tears.”
The girl, who Miss Gardiner said was aged about 14, wasn’t the only person who the couple helped during the crisis.
Miss Gardiner, who has family in Aberdeen, added: “There was a guy who fell to the ground. He was in shock and people were just trampling over him. We helped him up but we had to keep going. We could not stop.
“We’re still shaken up. My boyfriend was really strong and was concentrating on making sure I was all right. I’m just grateful to be one of the lucky ones that made it out alive. My thoughts and prayers are with the people who were killed and injured and their families.
“We saw some horrific things in the street. Paramedics were treating people and we were trying not to look because the injuries were so bad. People were screaming and crying.”
Describing the attack as “appalling”, Miss Gardiner added: “Ariana has always been about promoting love, no matter what religion, gender or sexuality. She has a lot of vulnerable fans. She has a lot of fans aged under 10 up to late teens. I can’t believe someone would carry out such a cowardly act.”