Mother found a bit of bomb backpack in boot
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