Best friends injured after passing just yards from Arena bomber

Video report by Amy Welch.

A Manchester Arena employee saved the life of a teenager as she lay for nearly two hours on a railway station floor after the terror attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, a public inquiry heard.

Lucy Jarvis, 21, from Wigan, suffered severe shrapnel injuries to her ankles in the blast caused by Salman Abedi's device which he detonated as crowds of youngsters emerged into the City Room foyer of the venue in May 2017.

She asked Arena technician John Clarkson to take off her shoes and ease the pain of her "throbbing feet" but he told her to keep them on and "probably" saved her from bleeding to death, she said.

Ms Jarvis attended the concert with her best friend Amelia "Millie" Tomlinson, both then aged 17, and were linking arms as they entered the City Room shortly after hearing the night's final song.

Both had grown up watching Grande on TV children's channel Nickelodeon and were excited to see her perform, listening to her albums as they spent hours choosing outfits and getting ready, the inquiry was told.

The friends were separated following the explosion as Ms Tomlinson was assisted by a first aider working for the Arena, while Mr Clarkson and engineer colleague Paul Worsley sat with Ms Jarvis.

I remember John and Paul holding my hands and they kept saying to me to me 'if you feel like you are going to sleep then squeeze my hand'.

Lucy Jarvis

When armed police asked the pair to go they refused to leave, she said.

Ms Jarvis said: "I remember them saying that they needed to leave and that paramedics would take over or other people would take over because technically they weren't trained at that high a level.

"I think they were like 'we can't leave this girl on her own', so they refused to leave."

She said "maybe half an hour later" the pair managed to get a stretcher but struggled to lift it up as they wheeled her to an elevator to take her to the triage area at Victoria rail station where she recalled lying on the floor for "nearly two hours".

She told the inquiry: "I could hear people talking around me, a lot of people crying and like shouting they needed help or they needed like pain relief and obviously they couldn't give them that at the time.

"It was quite stressful.

"I was trying to be as chilled as possible because I didn't want to stress myself out or I didn't want to cause anyone else issues around me.

"It was just quite like scary to know all these people around me were injured.

"I remember looking up at the ceiling for ages.

"And on the side of the wall in the train station there is like a map ... I remember looking at it for so long and like looking at different places just to try and distract myself because there was nothing else I could really think about."

Eventually she started to feel pain and asked Mr Clarkson for some paracetamol, inquiry heard.

She said: "I remember both my feet were throbbing, like really really badly, and I asked John to take my shoes off and he looked at my feet and he was like 'we can't take your shoes off'.

"Obviously now I realise if he had taken my shoes off I would probably have bled to death because my ankles were so badly injured."

She was finally taken to Salford Royal Hospital after she vomited on the shoes of Mr Clarkson who alerted medics.

She underwent surgery for about 14 hours after arrival and spent eight weeks in hospital where her visitors included Mr Clarkson and Mr Worsley.

Ms Jarvis said she has not fully recovered yet from multiple shrapnel wounds and injuries including to her upper and lower legs, left upper arm and forearm, bladder and kidney, as well as blood clots on her lungs.

Praising the hospital, she said: "They were amazing really.

"I can't thank them enough for what they did me.

"Every member of staff was lovely and so caring and thoughtful."

The inquiry into the events around the bombing by Abedi, 22, on May 22 2017 which killed 22 people and injured hundreds continues on Wednesday.