Eyewitness account: Homeless man cradled dying woman in his arms

Eyewitness account: Homeless man cradled dying woman in his arms

A rough sleeper has tearfully described the moment a woman died in his arms from the explosion set off as fans left the Manchester Arena.

At the time of the blast Chris Parker, 33, was in the foyer area of the venue where he regularly goes to beg for money as concert crowds head home.

He recalled: "Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming.

"It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help.

"There was people lying on the floor everywhere.

"I saw a little girl ... she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said 'where is your mum and daddy?' She said 'my dad is at work, my mum is up there'."

He said he thought the child's mother had died from her injuries.

Mr Parker, who has slept rough in the city for about a year, said he also tended to a woman aged in her 60s who was badly hurt from the bombing with serious leg and head injuries.

He said: "She passed away in my arms. She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family.

"I haven't stopped crying.

"The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids' concert.

"There were nuts and bolts all over the floor. People had holes in their back.

"It's the screams I can't get over and the smell ... I don't like to say it but it smelled like burning flesh.

"I don't think anything has sunk in yet. It's just shock."

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