Hundreds still searching for news of loved ones in Manchester

Hundreds still searching for  news of loved ones in Manchester

LATEST: Hundreds of people are still desperately trying to trace loved ones in the aftermath of the terror attack at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.

Parents, relatives and friends are frantically searching for those still missing after the explosion, flooding social media with images as they try to track them down.

Thousands of teenagers were inside the arena for a concert by Ariana Grande on Monday night, and Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed children are among those killed.

Among those searching for loved ones was Amy Ridley, who was trying to trace her best friend Chloe Rutherford and her partner Liam Curry.

She told ITV News Tyne Tees: "I want to hear my best friend’s voice again and make sure her and her boyfriend are okay. I love them both and wouldn’t know what to do without them."

Charlotte Campbell has not heard from her 15-year-old daughter Olivia since the attack.

Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "I last had contact with her at half past eight last night.

"She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.

"She was with her friend Adam, Adam was found about half an hour ago, he’s in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet."

Ms Campbell said she had been at home "phoning everybody, hospitals, police, all these centres that the children have been put in".

"Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her. I’ve got friends out looking for her, I’ve got people I don’t even know out looking for her."

Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can let loved ones know they are safe, and an emergency helpline, 0161 856 9400, has been set up for those searching.

Alex Klis, from York, is looking for her parents who have been missing since the attack.

In a post shared widely on Facebook she wrote: "Anyone who is in any safe place or hospital in Manchester, if anyone comes across my parents please please let me know as they’ve been missing ever since the attack."

Another missing person is eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.

She was at the concert with her mother Lisa Roussos and Saffie’s sister, Ashlee Bromwich, aged in her 20s, from Leyland, Lancashire, who are both now in separate hospitals being treated for injuries, friends said.

But none have been able to trace Saffie despite calling the police crisis phone number and local hotels and mustering points for the injured.

They have posted an appeal on Facebook.

Kate Tinsley, whose daughter Jessica is best friends with Saffie at Tarleton Community Primary School near Preston in Lancashire, said: "I’ve tried to contact Saffie’s mum and none of the messages have gone through on the phone.

"Jessica has gone to school today not knowing a thing. My daughter is best friends with her in school. Everybody is worried, the whole village. Everybody is in bits waiting for news, just some news that she’s okay, she’s alive."

People have also used social media to try to find missing mother Wendy Fawell.

Tweets said Ms Fawell, believed to be from Otley, West Yorkshire, was last seen in the foyer area of the arena shortly before the explosion.

Leeds Underdogs ARL rugby club tweeted: "Friends of ours are looking for a Wendy Fawell-New, if anyone know if she is safe, please get back to us."

Debbie Mcdowell posted a photograph of Ms Fawell on Facebook with the message: "Please share this picture of my best friend Wendy Fawell who is missing after the bombing in Manchester. Praying for safe return my lovely. Love you loads xx."

Appeals were also made for the whereabouts of Kelly Brewster, from Sheffield.

Chantelle Garrity posted on Facebook: "Pls pls pls help find my friend Kelly Brewster. She is missing following the explosion at Manchester Arena last night! If any one has seen her please let me know! Her family and friends are worried."

It is believed she went to the concert with her sister Claire and niece Hollie, who were injured and are being treated in hospital.

Hundreds still searching for  news of loved ones in Manchester

Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.

Up to 60 people caught up in the attack were reported to have been taken in by Holiday Inn hotels near the arena.

While the hotel group said it had supported people through the night and offered "immediate refuge", it said it had not taken in a large group of unaccompanied children.

A spokeswoman said: "There have been reports of a number of unaccompanied children being brought to a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express in the area, however these are incorrect.

"Our hotels were working with police throughout the night, but we did not have a group of unaccompanied children at our hotel.

"The hotel teams at Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre - Arena have both been working closely with the emergency services throughout the night, supporting members of the public who needed immediate refuge.

"The hotels are fully operational and continue to offer support."

Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, a couple from South Shields, have still yet to be found and family members have travelled to Manchester to try to locate them.

Bernard Wills, 36, the cousin of Liam’s father, said they are a close family and everyone was trying to do their bit.

"They are a great young couple, really loving, with a bright future ahead and there’s nobody that doesn’t like them," he said.

"Nobody ever has a bad word to say about them, so we’re all a bit worried.

"I think it was Liam’s treat to Chloe this time, they’d gone down to enjoy a night away together.

"I’m sure there’s a valid reason for them not getting in touch, people were dropping their phones as they were leaving or they’ve lost the battery on their phone."

Hundreds still searching for  news of loved ones in Manchester

EARLIER: Hundreds of people are desperately searching for loved ones in the aftermath of a terror attack at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed police are in contact with the families of two Scottish teenagers who are missing after attending the concert in Manchester targeted in a terror attack.

Ms Sturgeon said a further four people have attended hospitals in Scotland following the incident.

The attack at the Ariana Grande concert on Monday night in Manchester Arena has left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.

The First Minister gave a statement at St Andrews House in Edinburgh following a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee.

Ms Sturgeon described the incident as a "dreadful atrocity".

"There can be nothing more cowardly than to attack children and young people enjoying a night-out," she said.

"At this point, as has been confirmed, 22 people tragically lost their lives and 59 have been injured.

"As of now, and this may change as the day develops, we are aware of four people who have presented at hospitals in Scotland, two of whom have already been discharged.

"Police Scotland are also in contact with the family of two girls reported missing from Barra who are known to have attended the concert last night.

"Anyone who has concerns about loved ones should contact the Greater Manchester Police emergency number on 0161 856 9400."

Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can let loved ones know they are safe, and an emergency helpline, 0161 856 9400, has been set up for those searching for loved ones.

Family members said Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod, from Barra, had not been heard from since the explosion.

Laura’s father Michael MacIntyre and Eilidh’s aunt Margaret MacNeil have appealed for information on social media.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil was among tens of thousands who shared the appeal and said he was "very worried" about the missing girls.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Police Scotland will also be present at motorway service stations working with the British Transport Police to identify any possible witnesses returning to Scotland from Manchester.

"It is important to emphasise that at this stage the threat level remains unchanged.

"I also want to stress that at this time there is no intelligence of any increased threat or risk to Scotland."

The First Minister confirmed Police Scotland have increased security at locations such as transport hubs and city centres as a "precautionary measure".

Police will keep the arrangements, as well as those for security at coming events, under review, Ms Sturgeon said.

"I am sure the public will draw reassurance from the substantial uplift of visible policing that they will see on the streets," she said.

"I would stress, however, as others have already done, that such measures are precautionary.

"The public, of course, should also remain vigilant, but go about their everyday business as normal.

"Last night’s attack was particularly cruel in its targeting of children and young people enjoying a music concert.

"An event that for many will have been the highlight of their year.

"There will be many young people across Scotland and the UK who this morning will have seen on social media and on the news images that we would all hope we would never see, and many of these young people may feel particularly vulnerable.

"This is a time to ensure we talk to our children at home, at school and when we hear them talking amongst their friends."

Ms Sturgeon said the Government had been in touch with Young Scot, Education Scotland and councils to provide guidance.

She also confirmed she has written to the mayor of Manchester offering condolences and support, and expressing solidarity.

The First Minister further praised the emergency services for their response to the attack.

She added: "Terrorists and extremists seek to divide us and destroy our way of life.

"As human beings, we struggle to understand the twisted motivations that lead people to carry out such atrocities, particularly when they target children and young people in such a callous way.

"Our best response now is to stand firm with determination and in solidarity, to make clear to all those who would seek to undermine our values, target our children and destroy our way of life that they will not succeed - not now and not ever."

She concluded: "There are many people today suffering unimaginable pain and grief, and there are many who will still be consumed by worry and uncertainty about their loved ones.

"Let us hold them in our hearts, today and in the very difficult days ahead."

The First Minister will make a statement to MSPs at Holyrood and chair a further meeting of the resilience committee later today.

Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.

Among those searching for children was Charlotte Campbell, who has not heard from her 15-year-old daughter Olivia since the attack.

Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "I last had contact with her at half past eight last night.

"She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.

"She was with her friend Adam, Adam was found about half an hour ago, he’s in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet."

Ms Campbell said she had been at home "phoning everybody, hospitals, police, all these centres that the children have been put in".

"Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her.

"I’ve got friends out looking for her, I’ve got people I don’t even know out looking for her."

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