An Ariana Grande fan from Leeds who was caught up in the Manchester Arena attack has spoken of how the night turned into a “horror film”.
Liam Holdsworth, 18, of East Ardsley, said he can’t stop replaying the horrific scenes he witnessed in the aftermath of last night’s bomb blast.
He was at the concert with friend Aaron Shales, 17, when the they heard the explosion just after Ariana’s last song.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “As soon as she went off stage, the lights went on and we heard a massive bang. It sounded like an explosion. Everyone just stopped and looked at each other, saying ‘what the hell was that?’.
“We were on the first tier above the stage and there was a pit at the bottom where you could just see everybody running. It looked like something from a horror film.
“People were getting stood on, people were literally flooding out. We were all squished together and everyone was screaming and crying. It was so scary.
“We turned around and saw smoke and didn’t know if it was a bomb or a speaker explosion or something but we realised something wasn’t right because even the [arena] workers there were panicking and trying to get everyone out.
“We saw a little girl who was just screaming and crying her eyes out. The police took her. It was so heartbreaking, we didn’t know what to do.
“We got outside and everyone was screaming and crying.
“We saw lots of people laid on the floor. People just trying to save them. It was just horrific. Lots of cuts, cuts on their faces. There was blood all over.
“Ariana has a lot of merchandise which are white jumpers and there were loads of people wearing these with just blood everywhere.
“We saw little children there, screaming, looking for their mums.”
Liam, who works at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Leeds, said they tried to get a train home but police turned them away from the station so a nearby pub sheltered them while they waited to be picked up.
They eventually got home to Leeds at about 1.30am.
He said: “As soon as I close my eyes I can hear the sirens in my head - that’s all we could hear - I can see the people.
“I’m just heartbroken. Those people were there for the same reason as me - to watch an artist we enjoy listening to. But they haven’t come home. It’s horrifying.
“There were a lot of little children there. On the train on the way there, in front of us was a family with three girls, aged about six, who were singing and dancing and knew all the words to the songs.
“Just seeing them so happy and excited for the concert and then on the way out, seeing children outside, screaming and crying because they didn’t know where their mum was. It’s heartbreaking."