Email the editor

Fire service two hours late to Manchester Arena bombing

Fire crews played “no meaningful role” in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, a review has found
27/03/2018

Pictured: While paramedics treated the injured, a senior fire officer “stuck to rules” and kept firefighters 500m away from the incident.

The fire service arrived two hours late and played “no meaningful role” in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, a review has found.

Firefighters who heard the bomb go off were sent away from the scene, as fire crews stuck to the rules for a suspected active terrorist, according to a review chaired by Lord Kerslake.

Salman Abedi killed 22 people when he detonated a home-made device at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena in May last year. More than 700 people were injured in the attack.

While paramedics treated the injured, a senior fire officer “stuck to rules” and kept firefighters 500m away from the incident. “Poor communications” between fire and police officers brought the fire service’s response “to the point of paralysis”, according to the Kerslake report.

It said "The fire service was effectively outside the loop [and had] little awareness of what was happening at the arena."

This meant that fire crews arrived at the scene more than two hours after the bomb was detonated. The service’s average response time is under six minutes.

The report added that "not one single reason or one individual" was to blame for the errors, but a combination of "poor communications and poor procedures".


Facebook Share Twitter Share LinkeIn Share