Emergency services ‘should have broken the rules’ to help on night of Manchester Arena attack

Video report by ITV Granada Reports lead correspondent, Elaine Willcox.

The husband of one of the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena bombing says emergency services "should have broken the rules" on the night of the attack.

Steven Howe, who lost his wife Alison when a suicide bomber detonated a device after an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

He told how he was outside asking ambulance staff why they were not entering the arena to help the hundreds of victims caught up in the atrocity.

"The police had surrounded the arena and they wouldn't let anybody in", he explained.

"We've said it many times but we should've just got past them, really, and helped out.

"There were queues of ambulances so maybe some of the ambulance staff and firemen should've just broke the rules and gone in. I bet a lot of them wished they had."

A damning second report released on Thursday found “inadequacies” in the emergency response that night meant at least one person could have been saved.

A “lack of communication” between services meant paramedics and fire crews were not deployed and instead both rescuers and those injured were left hearing “sirens of the ambulances outside”, the report concluded.

Emergency services chiefs have apologised for their “wholly inadequate and totally ineffective” response and vowed that their failures “will never happen again”.

The 22 victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack in May 2017.

Alison, who was 45 when she died and from Royton, Oldham, was at the arena with her friend Lisa Lees to collect their daughters.

The mother-of-six was three metres away from suicide bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated an explosive device. She died alongside her friend.

Just three paramedics went into the scene of the blast and the fire service did not help for more than two hours.

Steve does not blame those on the frontline and says it is the people in charge who have questions to answer.

On Thursday, the father-of-six described the Arena public inquiry as "a complete and utter waste of time."

Alison and Stephen Howe on their wedding day.

He said: "If they'd have held their hands up within weeks and said we've made loads of mistakes I think we would have felt better.

"But after six years, I feel worse than the day after it happened."

Steven and his family are now looking to the future, as they try to come to terms with the inquiry findings, and says they still live like Alison is still alive.

"You'd never dream that your wife would leave at 5 o'clock with your daughter and not come back at 10 o'clock, would you?", he said.

"The thought of that night will never get any easier, but as a family you've just got to crack on and that's what Alison would've wanted us to do."