Youngest victim of Manchester Arena attack was ‘badly let down by emergency services’, father says | UK News


The father of the youngest Manchester Arena attack victim says his daughter was “badly let down by the emergency services”.

Andrew Roussos said the emergency services should have “sleepless nights” over the way they reacted to the attack on 22 May 2017.

Saffie-Rose Roussos reached the hospital 52 minutes after terrorist Salman Abedi detonated his home-made bomb.

The eight-year-old victim was carried out of the foyer, where the explosion had gone off, on a makeshift stretcher by two police officers and a member of the public.

The child could have survived if she had received a quicker response from medical services, experts revealed in evidence hearings at the Manchester Arena Inquiry.

The second report of the inquiry, examining the emergency services response on the night, will be published on Thursday and is expected to be heavily critical.

Speaking to Sky News ahead of the report’s publication, Mr Roussos said the “beautiful little soul” who suffered unimaginable pain was, “badly let down by the emergency services, 100%. They should be ashamed of themselves that they allowed that to happen”.

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“They should not allow a child to be taken out on a cardboard poster that’s full of blood from somebody else. That’s not good enough”, Mr Roussos added.

After months of collecting evidence, the inquiry heard there were failings across the board.

Police chiefs were forced to apologise, the fire service was embarrassed by their response and the ambulance service was criticised for the delay in treating victims.

Paul Reid, a member of the public who had been selling posters, was at Saffie-Rose’s side for 31 minutes, urging her to “stay with me” as he carried her out on a makeshift stretcher.

Speaking to Sky News he said: “It felt like an eternity, like a life-time for the emergency services to arrive. I was thinking any minute now they’re all going to come in there and kick me out, but it just didn’t happen like that.”

Mr Reid said he “blamed the top brass for not dealing with the situation properly”.

Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service all said it would be inappropriate to comment before the publication of the report – but all three organisations apologised to family members of victims during the inquiry.

Sir John Saunders, the inquiry chair, will publish his second report at 2.30pm on Thursday.


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