Mother found a bit of bomb back­pack in boot

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY GRACE MACASKILL

A MUM who was just yards from the Manch­ester mas­sacre found frag­ments of the bomber’s back­pack in her BOOT.

Kather­ine Bri­erly and her 11-year-old daugh­ter Ilana were close by when Sal­man Abedi det­o­nated his ruck­sack of ex­plo­sives. In­cred­i­bly the pair es­caped with­out se­ri­ous in­jury.

But when she re­turned home she dis­cov­ered a small piece of frac­tured plas­tic with brightly coloured blue and black stitch­ing hang­ing from a seam in her shoe.

She sent an im­age to her brother – an army vet­eran who had served in both Afghanistan and the Falk­lands – who iden­ti­fied it as a piece of Abedi’s deadly load.

Now de­tec­tives are comb­ing the piece for vi­tal clues they hope could iden­tify Abedi’s bomb-mak­ing ac­com­plices.

NHS scanog­ra­pher Kather­ine, 46, said: “I got home and was tak­ing my boots off – this piece of plas­tic fell out.

“I showed it to my brother. He said, ‘It’s def­i­nitely to do with the bomb. Take it to the po­lice’.”

Se­cu­rity chiefs be­lieve the deadly de­vice det­o­nated by Abedi was built by other IS fa­nat­ics in a city cen­tre flat avail­able on­line for £75 a night.

And they fear an­other at­tack could be im­mi­nent as they hunt out his ter­ror cell. Kather­ine said: “The stitch­ing is ex­actly the same colour as the bag Abedi used. We just hope they can use it in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We even took the clothes we were wear­ing so they could ex­am­ine the blood spat­ter.

“We feel lucky to be alive – if he’d set that ex­plo­sion off five min­utes later there’d have been more car­nage. At that point there weren’t that many peo­ple in that area.”

Kather­ine had bought tick­ets to the Ari­ana Grande gig as a Christ­mas present for Ilana.

Af­ter the lights came up they were among the first to leave the venue. Ilana suf­fered bruises on her leg as the bomb went off, while Kather­ine had a small cut on her arm and was cov­ered in blood and tis­sue frag­ments.

She ush­ered her daugh­ter from the chaos be­fore flag­ging down a taxi. The mum-of-three from Mil­nrow, Rochdale, said: “We were eu­phoric we’d walked away with cuts and bruises.

“We can’t be­lieve we were so close and weren’t killed – a few sec­onds dif­fer­ence and we’d have been in the foyer.

“We came out of the door and there was just this boom and flash of light. Ilana looked up at me and said, ‘It’s a bomb, isn’t it Mummy?’

“I put my arms around her and turned her around so she couldn’t see any­thing, then guided her out.”

RE­PORT­ING TEAM: Phil Cardy, Dan War­bur­ton, Geral­dine Mckelvie, Grace Macaskill, Vikki White, Lewis Panther, Amardeep Bassey, Alan Selby, Rus­sell My­ers, John Kelly, Dan Thomp­son, Karen Rock­ett, Ni­cola Fi­field, Reda El­hadi Fhel­boom and Keith Perry.

SHRED OF EV­I­DENCE Frag­ment was in boot

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