Pupils caught up in ter­ror at­tack

Macclesfield Express - - POP CONCERT TERROR ATTACK - STU­ART GREER

STU­DENTS from two Ma c c l e s f i e l d schools were caught up in Mon­day night’s Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack.

At least 12 young­sters from Fal­li­b­roome Academy and ‘a num­ber’ who at­tend Tyther­ing­ton School at­tended the pop con­cert where a sus­pected sui­cide bomber killed 22 peo­ple, in­clud­ing many chil­dren.

Head­teach­ers at both schools be­lieve there have been no fa­tal­i­ties or in­juries in­volv­ing their stu­dents.

Fran­cis Power, head­teacher at Fal­li­b­roome Academy, said: “Thank­fully, we be­lieve that there have been no fa­tal­i­ties in the Fal­li­b­roome com­mu­nity, al­though we un­der- stand that at least twelve of our stu­dents were at the con­cert on Mon­day night.

“Our school is very quiet and sub­dued as our stu­dents and staff come to terms with th­ese dread­ful events.

“We are of­fer­ing coun­selling and other sup­port to our stu­dents and will con­tinue to do so in the days, weeks and months ahead.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims of this hor­rific at­tack.

“It is hard to imag­ine how they will cope with the grief of los­ing a loved one in th­ese cir­cum­stances.”

Manny Botwe, head­teacher at Tyther­ing­ton School, said: “A num­ber of our stu­dents were at the con­cert.

“We have made con­tact with par­ents to check that they are safe. Se­nior lead­er­ship and our pas­toral sup­port team have been on hand to sup­port stu­dents. We are also of­fer­ing stu­dents ac­cess to our school coun­sel­lors.”

At least 22 peo­ple were killed and 120 in­jured dur­ing the at­tack.

Thou­sands of gig-go­ers were packed into the venue when the ex­plo­sion shook the arena.

Mul­ti­ple wit­nesses re­ported hear­ing “huge bangs” at the venue shortly af­ter US singer’s gig fin­ished at around 10.30pm.

Min­utes later eye­wit­nesses de­scribed see­ing peo­ple “run­ning and scream­ing” from the arena, with some cov­ered in blood.

Chief Con­sta­ble Ian Hop­kins from Greater Manch­ester Po­lice said it was be­lieved that the at­tacker - who died at the scene - was car­ry­ing an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice.

He has been named as Sal­man Abedi, 22, who lived in Manch­ester.

Mac­cles­field’s mayor coun­cil­lor Bev­er­ley Doo­ley has first hand ex­pe­ri­ence of what some of the Mac­cles­field par­ents must have been go­ing through as they waited anx­iously to learn that their chil­dren were safe.

In 1996 her daugh­ter was in Manch­ester when the IRA det­o­nated a bomb.

She said: “It brings back mem­o­ries.

“Not know­ing whether they are safe. The aw­ful few hours wait­ing. You imag­ine the worst dur­ing that time.

“I can imag­ine all those par­ent wait­ing for the chil­dren out­side that venue. It’s dif­fi­cult to put into words.

“The fact there are lo­cal chil­dren caught up in the in­ci­dent, and one still miss­ing from Holmes Chapel, brings the whole tragedy closer to home.”

All Hal­lows, Poyn­ton High and Mac­cles­field Academy have yet to con­firm if any of their stu­dents at­tended the con­cert.

Bev­er­ley Doo­ley

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