'Absolutely terrifying': Leeds dad witnessed deadly explosion as he picked up daughters from Ariana Grande gig

Armed police (left) at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PA
Armed police (left) at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PA
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A DAD has described the terror after an explosion at Manchester Arena left at least 22 people dead and injured more, including children and disabled victims.

Gary Walker, from Leeds, was with his wife in the foyer waiting to pick up his two daughters who were at the Ariana Grande concert last night.

"I was waiting for the kids to come out. We heard the last song, and quite a few people were flooding out and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang, smoke," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I felt a bit of pain in my foot and my leg. My wife said, 'I need to lie down'. I lay her down, she'd got a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg.

"I was about three metres from the actual explosion. I am surprised I got away so lightly."

LIVE UPDATES: 22 dead after terror attack at Manchester Arena concert

Mr Walker said the explosion was by the door in the foyer, next to the merchandise, and that glass and metal nuts were left on the floor.

He said he lay down next to his wife for up to an hour, until she was stretchered on a table to an ambulance.

His daughter Abigail, who was still in the auditorium with sister Sophie at the time of the explosion, said: "I had to make sure I had my sister. I grabbed hold of her and pulled hard. Everyone was running and crying.

"We were just trying to figure where everyone was. It was absolutely terrifying."

Abigail and Sophie contacted their parents by mobile phone, a moment Mr Walker described as "fantastic news".

Anthony Senior dashed over from Bradford to be re-united outside the arena with his wife and two daughters who had been at the concert.

His wife and one daughter were in an ambulance being treated for cuts and bruises.

His other daughter Amelia, aged 11, said: "We ended up leaving early because everyone had gone off the stage. We walked out, we'd gone through the gates to actually go out, suddenly something really hot just flew over us and behind me and my sister and we all dropped to the floor.

"I couldn't really hear anything it was just really scary."

Mr Senior said: "We're the lucky ones. I think they have got a lot more serious things to contend with."

Jade Baynes, 18, from Hull, was told to run from the area by armed police after leaving the concert arena.

She said she heard loud bangs and what sounded like gunshots just after the entertainment had finished.

She added: "There were just a loud bang and a flash and everyone tried to scramble out.

"An alarm came on telling everyone to stay calm but leave as quickly as possible."

Jade and her friend Jasmine Mia, 21, also from Hull, said there appeared to be some sort of commotion in the first tier of the arena, with a number of stewards stood around the seats.

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