‘I saw blood and then I heard boom’

Piotr re­lives Manch­ester bomb ter­ror

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Staff reporter

A Ruther­glen man who lost an eye in the Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack has told how he picked bits of hot me­tal from his skin in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the blast which killed 22 peo­ple.

Piotr Chylewski picked nuts and bolts from his body as he lay on the floor sur­rounded by car­nage at the Manch­ester Arena in May.

The 46-year-old looked down to see the me­tal ob­jects em­bed­ded in his skin af­ter be­ing thrown to the floor in the blast.

He said: “I knew what had hap­pened right away, im­me­di­ately. I saw peo­ple ly­ing on the floor. And there were nuts on my body.

“I work as a main­te­nance en­gi­neer so I recog­nised them as I use this stuff daily.”

He was rushed to hospi­tal where more me­tal was re­moved from his body in four op­er­a­tions and then placed in a med­i­cally in­duced coma.

But sur­geons were not able to save his left eye.

The dad-of-two said: “There was so much me­tal in­side me you’d need a me­tal de­tec­tor to find it all. I have no idea how many pieces of shrap­nel there were.”

Piotr, who stays in Burn­hill, had been wait­ing in the foyer area to col­lect 12-year-old daugh­ter Amelia and wife Ewa, 38, from the con­cert.

He added: “I re­mem­ber peo­ple were us­ing cloth­ing from the Ari­ana Grande stall on peo­ple to try to stop the bleed­ing.”

As well as los­ing his left eye, Piotr, orig­i­nally from Gosty­cyn, Poland, has had muscle on his leg re­moved af­ter be­ing dam­aged by shrap­nel and he has a 20-inch scar on his torso fol­low­ing emer­gency surgery to re­move me­tal shards from his ab­domen.

A fundrais­ing event was held on Satur­day at his lo­cal pub, the Fair­ways.

He said: “The sup­port I have had has been such a sur­prise. The care I re­ceived in hospi­tal in Manch­ester and in Glas­gow was ex­cel­lent.”

And he re­called the mo­ment the bomb det­o­nated.

He said: “I sent Ewa a mes­sage say­ing, ‘I’m here’, then started writ­ing an­other one say­ing I was at the main en­trance.

“Those were the last words be­fore my phone smashed in my hand.

“Then I lost vi­sion in my eye.

“When I put my hand up to it, I saw blood and then I heard ‘boom’. I re­mem­ber it hap­pen­ing in that or­der, in frac­tions of sec­onds.

“When I saw the blood and heard the noise I re­alised right away what had hap­pened. Im­me­di­ately af­ter that it went pure quiet.

“I was drift­ing, los­ing con­tact, but I came back.

“They had to cut my clothes off, and I was sit­ting out­side against the wall in only my pants.

“I saw peo­ple ly­ing on the floor.

“That was hor­ri­ble.”

There was so much me­tal in­side me you’d need a me­tal de­tec­tor to find it all

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