Manchester arena

Risk aversion and the failure of our emergency services

The litany of errors in the emergency services’ response to the Manchester Arena attack has been widely detailed this week, from a senior police officer who failed to pass on crucial information, to a key fire officer who spent an hour driving in from his home, and a specialised paramedic unit that took 44 minutes to arrive from Stockport. The only paramedic to turn up in that three quarters of an hour – because he had ‘self-deployed’ – was supposed to triage patients but forgot his triage cards and never went back to his vehicle to get them. A ‘risk averse’ senior fire officer set off a chain of events

The fatal flaw in ‘see something, say something’

The official review into the Manchester Arena bombing was published this week. Four years after 22 mainly young people were killed at a pop concert, the review by Sir John Saunders reveals a catalogue of failings, as such reviews always do. Yet one failing stood out in particular. On the night in question the bomber, Salman Abedi, had been standing around the exits to the stadium for over an hour and a quarter. You would have thought that in that time, the sweaty young man with a rucksack might have attracted some attention. And you would be right. A number of people, including security guards hired to protect the venue,

A haunting revelation from the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry

The path to the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry, which opened in September, has been a long one. It had to wait for the extradition from Libya and trial of the bomber’s brother, Hashem Abedi, and then for the first wave of coronavirus. Once underway, it has been a rollercoaster of emotion for the victims’ families, many of whom have sat through every day of the hearings. It began with two weeks of truly heart-breaking stories of the 22 lives cut short. The kind of person who attends an Ariana Grande concert is likely to be young and in love with life; that made their stories feel that much more tragic.