James TweedieAll materialsWrite to the authorThe Manchester police response to the Manchester Arena attack has been criticised for delaying other first responders from aiding the victims. Counter-terrorism agents were also blamed for allowing the bomber to travel back and forth to Libya where he was involved with extremist militants.Survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing have described how victims died in their arms waiting in vain for paramedics to arrive.The report into the May 22 2017 suicide bombing by Salman Abedi, which killed him and 22 others and left more than a thousand injured, was due for publication on Thursday.Eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos was the youngest of those killed in the nail-bomb blast in the packed hall following a concert by US pop princess Ariana Grande.Her father Andrew Roussos believes her injuries were survivable with rapid first aid and that the police response, which kept other emergency services from entering the arena for up to two hours following the bombing for fear an ‘active’ killer was still present, cost Saffie-Rose her life.The inquest heard that in the final moments of her life, the girl heartbreakingly asked a paramedic: “am I going to die?” “We do not doubt that Saffie suffered a high burden of injury and no one suggests she would necessarily have survived whatever interventions were applied,” Pete Weatherby KC, barrister for the Roussos family, told the inquiry.But he said none of her injuries was individually non-survivable and the evidence was that “she went into cardiac arrest because her blood circulation volume fell below a critical level.”Another survivor, Ron Blake, told British media that “big mistakes were made that night” and authorities had “got it all wrong.”Blake used his wife’s belt as a tourniquet for 28-year-old John Atkinson’s leg in his unsuccessful attempt to staunch the bleeding and save his life.”It just seemed to last forever. It seemed to go on and on and on and no-one was coming so I just kept trying to talk to John,” Blake said. “He kept saying ‘I’m going to die, aren’t I?’ and I said ‘no, you are not’.”Barrister John Cooper KC told the inquiry that Atkinson, a care worker, died because he did not get “effective, timely intervention for his entirely treatable injuries.””Reduced to its simplest, in John’s case there were two issues that took away his chance of recovery: the lack of medical expertise and equipment within the City Room, and the delay in his evacuation to the casualty clearing station and onwards to hospital,” Cooper said.Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders, a retired judge, is set to rule on whether
British Counter-Terror Agents Missed ‘Obvious’ Warnings of Manchester Arena Bombing11 April, 16:42 GMTBritish security services have also faced criticism over the bombing. Abedi, the son of religious extremist immigrants from Libya, was allowed to travel with his father to the North African nation in 2011 where they both joined militant groups in the Western-backed armed overthrow of the government and murder of 1969 Green Revolution leader Muammar Gaddafi.They were later among a group of Libyans rescued from Tripoli by the Royal navy shiip HMS Enterprise in August 2014 during the ensuing civil war in the North African country.Abedi made further trips to Libya, returning via Manchester Airport four days before his fatal attack with bomb-making equipment.His brother Hashem Abedi was extradited from Libya and convicted in 2020 of the murders of all 22 victims for helping Salman plan the attack and buying bomb-making materials and a car where they were stored.