AT least one victim of the Manchester Arena bombing could have survived if it wasn’t for the “inadequate” emergency response, an inquiry has found.
A damning report into the bombing has been released today, and highlights the failings of emergency services on that horrific day in May 2017.
5A second report looking into the Manchester Arena attack has today been releasedCredit: PA5A former cop has said the bombing, which killed 22 people, ‘was preventable’Credit: PA5One of the 22 killed, John Atkinson, probably would have survived the attack had it not been for emergency services inadequaciesCredit: PA:Press AssociationThe terror attack, which unfolded during an Ariana Grande concert, killed 22 people and injured hundreds.
The youngest victim to lose their life was eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos.
But it took paramedics 43 minutes to reach the scene and firefighters who were stationed just three miles away did not arrive until after the last seriously injured victim had been rushed to hospital.
Police also had wrongly reported the crime as a marauding gun incident.
The Manchester Arena Inquiry has today found that at least one of the dead would have survived the bombing – John Atkinson, 28.
The public inquiry’s chairman, Sir John Saunders, said: “In the case of John Atkinson, his injuries were survivable.
“Had he received the treatment and care he should have, it is likely that he would have survived.
“It is likely that inadequacies in the emergency response prevented his survival.”
John wasn’t tended to by any paramedics in the foyer where the bomb went off.
His early care came from former pizza shop boss Ronald Blake, who held a makeshift tourniquet fashioned from his wife’s belt and folded t-shirts for almost hour.
Still conscious and speaking, John was moved on a makeshift stretcher to the “casualty clearing station”.
He repeatedly told people caring for him: “I’m going to die.”
The chairman concluded that 20 of the dead had suffered “unsurvivable” injuries in the blast and he was “sure inadequacies in the response did not fail to prevent their deaths”.
When it came to the youngest victim, wee Saffie-Rose, Mr Saunders said “highly unlikely” she would have survived.
However, he added: “There was only a remote possibility that she could have survived.”
Speaking ahead of today’s report being released, retired counter terrorism police inspector Andrea Bradbury said emergency services were “unprepared and totally caught off guard” by the bombing.
Andrea herself was injured when Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a suicide bomb at the end of the concert.
She said she knew it was an explosive device and phoned the on-call counter-terrorism officer.
But the response was filled with delays, miscommunications and inaccurate information that the incident was ongoing.
Andrea told The Times: “People were left in the time of need.
“It was so wrong, especially when experienced officers who did go in were demanding assistance and firearms teams had secured the building.
“It was horrific, but what has always frustrated and angered me is the fact that it was preventable in the first place — and after it did happen, people were so badly let down by the police and the emergency services.”
Ambulance services bosses were said to be concerned about the risk of a secondary explosive device and, as a result, held back support despite armed police establishing that there was no further threat.
This left members of the public having to provide first aid to seriously injured victims.
The report released today is the second Mr Saunders has completed on the bombings.
Ahead of it being released, it was anticipated to make a number of recommendations that will include improved communication, clearer planning and a more efficient system for deciding where emergency services will be sent in the event of a terror attack.
The Telegraph reported it is feared that two of the 22 deaths may have been avoided if emergency services had responded to the incident faster.
The inquiry leading up to the report has heard how a “catastrophic” list of failings led to victims waiting hours for treatment before finally being taken to hospital.
Mr Saunders has previously said there were nine missed opportunities to stop the bombing.
In June last year he ruled that Abedi should have been identified as a threat to security on the night of the attack.
Mr Saunders criticised “serious shortcomings” by stewards for Showsec, particularly after a worried parent drew their attention to the bomber lurking around suspiciously for nearly an hour.
But a poorly-trained security guard did not want to confront him for fear of being called racist.
Mr Saunders also slammed British Transport Police after officers drove five miles for a kebab over a two-hour lunch break, leaving no one on duty in the City Room Foyer on the night of the attack.
He said he considered it was likely the bomber, 22, would still have detonated his device if confronted “but the loss of life and injury is highly likely to have been less”.
He is expected to publish a third report in the new year highlighting intelligence failings.
Meanwhile, more than 150 of the victims and bereaved families are said to also preparing civil claims ahead of the report today.
5CCTV captured images of suicide bomber Salman Abedi sitting in the foyer of the Manchester ArenaCredit: AFP5Today’s report is the second the public inquiry’s chairman John Saunders has completed on the attackCredit: PA
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk