Manchester Arena: Inquiry indicates ‘inadequate’ response

A report on the Manchester Arena bombing that killed 22 people and injured hundreds more was critical of the emergency response at night

John Atkinson, 28, the victim of the Manchester Arena bombing may have survived, but due to deficiencies in the emergency response, the Manchester Arena investigation found. The head of the investigation said in his report that he had directed “severe criticism” of the elements of the rescue operation, and there were “significant failures” by the organizations in their preparations and training for such an attack, and at night itself.

“Those who have listened to the evidence will not be surprised that I am so critical of the many rescues,” he said. “These criticisms should not overshadow our admiration for the courage of those who entered the city room without any hesitation in helping the dying and injured.”

Evidence of the conditions leading to the atrocity that surrounded her was heard in the city between September 7, 2020 andebruary 15 this year. The sessions began and ended with a minute of silence to remember those who had died.

Pictures of those who died in the Manchester Magistrates’ Court hearing room were shown at the start of the public inquiry as their final movements were determined – where they were when 22-year-old Salman Abedi set off his bomb in the city room lobby, the extent of medical treatment and details of their injuries.

Sir John’s first report on security issues at the Arena came out last June and highlighted a series of “missed opportunities” to identify Abedi as a threat before he walked through the city room and detonated his shrapnel-laden device.

A report on the bombing of the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people criticized the emergency response.

What happened to John Atkinson?

Care worker John Atkinson, 28, was six meters away when the explosion occurred in the venue’s city room foyer at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on the evening of May 22, 2017.

A member of the public used his wife’s belt as a tourniquet on Mr. Atkinson’s leg as he bled in pain on the floor of his city room for up to 50 minutes, during which time he told a police officer: “I’m going to die.”

Only three paramedics entered the city room at night and none were seen to bring or assist Mr. Atkinson, before being taken on a makeshift stretcher to a casualty clearance area where he later suffered cardiac arrest – an hour and 16 minutes after the explosion.

Sir John said: “In John Atkinson’s case, his injuries survived. Had he been given the care and treatment he should have received, he would most likely have survived. It is possible that shortcomings in the emergency response prevented his survival.”

He said Mr Atkinson would have likely survived if “sufficient intervention to significantly slow or stop the bleeding” had been made for up to 45 minutes after the blast.

Staff at SMG that was providing medical services at the time, ETUK, were supposed to be able to put medical dressings on his legs, in addition to his wound dressings.

More paramedics in the city room would likely have identified the need for urgent treatment and/or evacuation, he said, while more ambulances at the scene would also have meant faster care.

Sir John said Mr Atkinson would likely have prioritized a faster evacuation if the firefighters had arrived in time.

Sir John Saunders, head of the Manchester Arena inquiry (Credit: Steve Allen/PA)

What did Sir John say about emergency response?

Manchester Arena’s head of investigation has given a scathing report on the emergency services response. He said: “I missed important aspects of the emergency response on May 22, 2017. This was not supposed to happen.

“Some of the errors that have occurred have had disastrous consequences, and in the case of John Atkinson, severe consequences for those directly affected by the explosion.” He highlighted the main shortcomings in his report as follows:

  • A lack of communication between emergency responders, both by actually doing a co-location with a single multi-agency RVP (meeting point) and over the radio.
  • Fail to provide a multi-agency discussion group, discussion room, or set up one at night. This would have allowed the control rooms to talk to each other directly.
  • Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) duty officer, Inspector Dale Sexton, did not inform other emergency services of his announcement of Operation Plato, a pre-determined response to an attacking armed terrorist, or keep it under review.
  • FDO and others at GMP failed to consider scene segmentation, following the announcement of Operation Plato, in the early stages of the response.
  • A front command post was not set up, for senior officers to communicate with. The investigation found that this was primarily the responsibility of the GMP.
  • Delays by the Northwest Ambulance Service (NWAS) in getting ambulances and paramedics to the scene of the accident.
  • Failure to dispatch members of the specialized NWAS Hazardous Area Response Team to the foyer of the city room, the scene of the explosion, to assist with victim triage and life-saving intervention.
  • Not to send unspecialized paramedics to the city room to assist in triage.
  • He failed to take stretchers to the city room to help evacuate the wounded.
  • The Greater Manchesterire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) did not reach the scene and made any contribution to removing the wounded that its officers could have made.
  • Personnel at North Westire Control did not pass on important information to officers at GMFRS.
  • No one in a senior position in the GMFRS controlled the situation during the critical period of the response.

With the end of the “golden hour” after the attack, the emergency response failed to achieve an effective evacuation. Shortly after midnight, there were still 36 victims waiting to go to hospital, with the last injured leaving at 2.50am on May 23. Sir John said: “To those who have experienced it, this period of time seemed endless. It must not happen again.”

He said the evidence was “conclusive” and there was no possibility that 20 of the 22 victims had survived the “fatal acts” committed by Salman Abedi, who are referred to sparingly by his initials in the 874-page report.

Can Safey Rose Roussos survive her injuries?

Lawyers for eight-year-old Safi Rose Roussos had confirmed during the investigation that her injuries were likely to survive. However, Sir John concluded: “In the case of Saffie-Rose Roussos, it is unlikely that she would have survived her injuries. There was only a remote possibility that she would have managed to survive with different treatment and care.”

“I do not consider the evidence to enable me to say that she would have had absolutely no chance of survival if the most comprehensive and advanced medical treatment had been started immediately after the injury.

“The clearest I suppose is a remote probability of survival. Based on the evidence I accepted, what happened to Saffie-Rose Roussos represents a terrible burden of injury. It is very likely that her death would have been inevitable even if the most comprehensive and advanced medical treatment had begun immediately. after injury.”

Who are the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing?

  • John Atkinson, 28
  • Courtney Boyle, 19
  • Kelly Brewster, 32
  • Georgina Callander, 18
  • Olivia Campbell Hardy, 15
  • Chloe Rutherford, 17
  • Liam Carey, 19
  • Wendyowle, 50
  • Martin Heat, 29
  • Megan Hurley, 15
  • Alison Howe, 44
  • Neil Jones, 14
  • Michelle Kiss, 45
  • Angelica Cleese, 39
  • Marcin Cleese, 42
  • Sorel Leczkowski, 14
  • Lisa Lees, 43
  • Illidah MacLeod, 14
  • Eileen McIver, 43
  • Savi Rose Roussos, eight years old;
  • Philip Tron, 32
  • Jane Tudel, 51

What did the families of the victims say?

“This damning report reveals what families have known all along, that all organizations are meant to protect their loved ones,” said Nicola Brock, an attorney from Brody Jackson Kanter who represents five of the victims’ families, including that of Saffie-Rose Roussos. unfathomable.

“To exacerbate the families’ pain, they were then forced to listen to denials, excuses and finger pointing rather than acknowledging the terrible mistakes that had been made.

“Much of the ordeal could have been avoided had Greater Manchester Police admitted their blatant failures from the start. Saffie’s parents Andrew and Lisa pushed for answers about what happened to their beautiful daughter over the course of an incredibly shocking five and a half years.

“After initially believing that the explosion killed my class on the spot, the pain of that loss was compounded by the knowledge that she lived for more than an hour.” She continued, “The most disturbing thing was knowing that their young daughter had asked if she was going to die, which is something parents shouldn’t hear about.”

After the report was published, John Atkinson’s family said: “It is now abundantly clear that on the night of the bombing, John utterly failed at every stage, both by the Arena’s private medical providers, ETUK and the emergency services.

“It is quite clear that due to these failures, John died of wounds he could and should have survived. As the report says, timely medical treatment to stop or slow John’s catastrophic bleeding and take him to hospital would have saved him.” They added: “He was left, dying, without his dignity, on the ground while it was clear to paramedics that he needed to go straight to the hospital.

“As we know from witnesses, John kept asking if he was going to die. John must have known that he was dying and that the pain he was causing us was greater than words can describe. This should never have been allowed to happen.”

What are the recommendations contained in the report?

Sir John said that if any major event occurs, there is a “care gap” – the time between the event and the arrival of medical help. Sir John said that in order to reduce this gap there was a need to have “appropriate people” on site in places like the arena who would be able to provide the life-saving treatment. He said this could be part of his duty to protect.

Sir John said he wanted to reiterate his “encouragement” for the government to consider passing Duty to Protect legislation for companies operating large entertainment venues as soon as possible.

He went on to say that in addition to policemen, firefighters and others on the scene, they should have these “necessary life-saving skills”. He also said that members of the public who find themselves in the aftermath of any such event and choose to stay and help should have the opportunity to obtain training that can “enable them to do something that might save their lives”.

Implementation of some of his recommendations may have already begun.