Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survivor: 999 Services Did the Best They Could

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Survivor: 999 Services Did the Best They Could

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter

A student who survived the Manchester Arena bomb attack says the emergency services did the best they could on the night.

Erin McDougle, from Newcastle, was among the people at the Ariana Grande concert when Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb in May last year.

A total of 22 people died and hundreds were injured. Among those killed were Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, both from South Shields, and Philip Tron, 32, and Courtney Boyle, 19, both from Gateshead.

Erin, who was at the gig with a friend, said it was a traumatic experience for everyone involved and an incident that no one would have expected.

The 21-year-old, a student at Northumbria University, added: "It was a unique and extraordinary set of circumstances. No one would have been expecting anything like that.

"Bearing that in mind, I think everyone dealt with it quite well.

"I remember a quick response from the emergency services. From the time it happened to when I was able to get out, there were armed police outside and lots of people helping out.

"There were 14,000 people who would have been trying to get out. No one can ever be really prepared for this type of thing."

Erin said that when she returned to the North East she received an email from her university offering to provide any help she needed.

Her comments come after an independent report into the emergency response to the terror attack was published yesterday.

The review was commissioned by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service.

The report highlighted numerous things that went well and felt "the story of the response is overwhelmingly positive".

However a number of serious issues were also raised and recommendations were made to improve things for the future.

It was said the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) was "outside of the loop" of the police and ambulance emergency response to the incident. …

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