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Manchester Arena bombing inquiry: Father tore off his shirt to bandage daughter’s bleeding leg

A father has told an inquiry into the Manchester Arena terror attack how he used his own shirt as a bandage to help his injured daughter in the wake of the atrocity.

Dr Darah Burke had been crossing the foyer with wife Ann and their 10-year-old daughter, Catherine, when Salman Abedi detonated his home-made bomb as an Ariana Grande concert ended.

The explosion sent thousands of nuts and bolts flying, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Dr Darah Burke told the inquiry into the attack he had attended with his wife and daughter

Dr Darah Burke told the inquiry into the attack he had attended with his wife and daughter

Dr Darah Burke told the inquiry into the attack he had attended with his wife and daughter

In the aftermath Dr Burke, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, realised Catherine was screaming and had been pelted with shrapnel from the device.

He told the hearing in Manchester, which is looking at the events around the bombing on May 22, 2017: ‘Basically there was a loud bang – very loud – and I was kind of thrown forward slightly.

‘I went into a crouching position. Everything seemed quite dark, almost debris in the air.

‘Ann was standing up, but not straight. Catherine was on the floor. Catherine was screaming.

‘Catherine was saying she could not see, her eyes were screwed tight. She had a lot of blood on her right side, upper limb and lower limb and head.

‘Catherine was responding so I knew she was breathing and not in immediate danger.’

Twenty two people were killed in the atrocity which injured hundreds more after the concert

Twenty two people were killed in the atrocity which injured hundreds more after the concert

Twenty two people were killed in the atrocity which injured hundreds more after the concert

Dr Burke suffered a shrapnel injury which fractured his right leg, and his wife had shrapnel injuries to her thigh and a deep wound in her heel.

Their daughter suffered 16 separate shrapnel injuries to her arms and legs and permanent deafness in her right ear.

Dr Burke left briefly to go back into the City Room but, due to his own injuries, was not able to assist.

Salman Abedi's homemade bomb was full of nuts and bolts which tore into innocent concert goers

Salman Abedi's homemade bomb was full of nuts and bolts which tore into innocent concert goers

Salman Abedi’s homemade bomb was full of nuts and bolts which tore into innocent concert goers 

He helped an injured man back out on the bridge and directed police and other emergency responders who were trying to assist him to others who were more seriously injured in the foyer.

His daughter was carried by a policeman to a triage area outside the railway station and the family were eventually taken to hospital.

Earlier, Sarah Nellist told how she had seen Abedi in the foyer as she waited for her 17-year-old daughter and six-year-old niece to leave the gig.

Ms Nellist, from North Wales, said: ‘I just saw him stood there. He just looked odd. It was in the corner of my eye. He detonated the bomb.

Witness Sarah Nellist told the inquiry she had seen Salman Abedi, pictured at Victoria Station on his way to Manchester Arena, minutes before he set off the bomb

Witness Sarah Nellist told the inquiry she had seen Salman Abedi, pictured at Victoria Station on his way to Manchester Arena, minutes before he set off the bomb

Witness Sarah Nellist told the inquiry she had seen Salman Abedi, pictured at Victoria Station on his way to Manchester Arena, minutes before he set off the bomb

‘The only way I can describe it, it was like black powder paint. A high-pitched sound I have never experienced anything like before, and the heat was just unbelievable.’

Paul Greaney QC, opening the hearing after the Easter break, warned that some of the evidence to be given will be highly traumatic.

He said survivors have described a scene of youngsters giddy with excitement, feelings of joy and happy faces, and excited little girls having the ‘time of their lives’ contrasted with the ‘horror shortly after’.

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday morning.

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