Hero taxi drivers out in their multitudes offering free lifts to those caught up in the Manchester Arena bombing on Monday night have a message for terrorists.
“These terrorists, they’re not welcome, these extremists, no matter who you are and where you’re from, you’re not welcome.”
The bombing took place at around 10:30pm at an Ariana Grande concert in which attacker Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured up to 120 more after detonating a bomb.
AJ Singh (above) – a 24-year-old taxi driver who runs his own fleet of taxis – was woken by a phone call from a friend who informed him of the attack and he immediately jumped in his car and rushed to help.
He told MM: “When I got to Manchester it was chaos, there were people on the roads, no money, no communication, no phone.
“These are young girls that were on the road, some of them were injured, some of them had nails lodged into them. I had one little girl tell me it was like a warzone.”
AJ took a piece of paper, wrote ‘Free Taxi’ on it and put it in his back window before taking as many people home as he could.
Tuesday evening saw tens of thousands of people attend a vigil outside Manchester’s town hall, in which people of all faiths came together to remember those lost in this devastating attack.
Sam Arshad – the 35-year-old owner of the Street Cars taxi company – drove past the arena on his way home and noticed the panic.
He said: “Everyone from Manchester came together to help the people that were affected, not just ourselves, it was the hotels as well, offering free accommodation, people from restaurants and takeaways offering free food.
“That’s what the Manchester community’s about, in hard times like this we always gel together and we always do what’s right.”