What you need to know as second report into Manchester Arena attack to be published today

The second report investigating the response of emergency services after the Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017 is set to be published later today.

The public inquiry, chaired by Sir John Saunders, into the bombing which killed 22 people began in 2019 and ended in March this year after hearing evidence from 267 witnesses.

The first report concluded that attacker Salman Abedi should have been identified as a threat and challenged by emergency services and security staff on the night of the attack.

In the report, Sir John said lives could have been saved if this had happened.

On the night of 22 May 2017, casualties were taken down the stairs to the concourse of Victoria railway station on makeshift stretchers and some victims remained at the scene for up to four hours before being removed.

Sir John also said security at the arena did not take the risk of a terrorist attack seriously despite the 2015 Bataclan attack in Paris.

Several missed opportunities were highlighted in the initial report, including the failure of security staff to act on concerns from a parent who had questioned Abedi about his rucksack.

The second volume, which will be published at 2:30pm today, Thursday 3 November, is set to delve into the response of emergency services.

A survivor of the attack, Ron Blake, told the BBC he believed “big mistakes were made that night.”

Mr Blake called 999 less than a minute after the attack and performed first aid on John Atkinson, 28, who later died.

He spoke of the fear of waiting for emergency services to arrive – which took 47 minutes.

He said: “It just seemed to last forever.

“It seemed to go on and on and on and no-one was coming so I just kept trying to talk to John.

“He kept saying ‘I’m going to die, aren’t I’, I kept saying ‘no you are not’.”

Greater Manchester’s Fire and Rescue Service apologised at one of the inquiry sessions after firefighters took more than two hours to arrive at the scene of the blast.

It blamed ‘silence’ from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on the night of the bombing.

GMP later apologised for its communication and training failures and blamed senior officer Dale Sexton.

Families of the victims have rejected these apologies.

Volume two of the report will be available to view at 2:30pm here.

Main image (Manchester memorial): Tomasz “odder” Kozlowski

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