Kerslake Report: Review into Manchester's response to Arena attack

An independent report into the emergency response to the Manchester Arena Terror Attack is to be published later.

Lord Kerslake has headed the review, which focuses on the emergency services, the media and how families of victims were treated in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

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Firefighter asks for forgiveness after Kerslake Report into Arena Bomb

A firefighter has made an anonymous plea to be forgiven after the Kerslake Report into the Manchester Arena bomb.

The report highlighted how the fire brigade failed to respond until two hours after the attack. It was said local commanders were left "outside of the loop" of the overall emergency response.

Elaine Willcox reports.


Security Minister Ben Wallace says that firefighter delays 'weren't key' to treating Arena Victims

Ben Wallace MP, Security Minister Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/PA Images

The MP for Wyre and Preston North Ben Wallace has said that delays faced by firefighters responding to the Manchester Arena terror attack were "not key" to whether or not people received treatment, a minister has said.

Speaking in his capacity as Minister for State Security Ben Wallace praised the speed of the response from police, paramedics and ambulance crews while also acknowledging it was "regretful" that the fire service were not there quicker.

The Home Office minister's remarks came after the Government faced calls in the Commons to answer questions about the "serious failing" of the fire service on the night of the attack on May 22 2017.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his home-made device in the foyer of Manchester Arena as 14,000 people streamed out at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people and injuring scores more.

A report by Lord Bob Kerslake into the emergency response to the attack found poor communications between the police and fire service meant the "valuable" assistance of fire crews was delayed by two hours and six minutes after the bombing.

Dawn Docx, the interim chief fire officer of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, has since apologised while Mark Rowe, north-west secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, said firefighters felt "ashamed" that they could not help victims more quickly.

He told BBC Breakfast that crews were "waiting to be deployed" after the bombing, some of them so close that they had heard the explosion, but "the order never came down from the top".

Within one minute of that explosion, targeted amongst women and children, police, British Transport Police were there, PCSOs were there, paramedics were there and within 12 minutes ambulances were there on the scene.

It is of course regretful that the fire service was not there, but that was not key to whether or not people were getting the treatment they were being given. The other blue light emergency services did a fantastic job.

The biggest point of this report and all terrorist actions is often we start with a point of not knowing what it is.

All members of this House will remember the day on Westminster Bridge when we were locked in offices, shut off from one to the other, because we didn't know whether it was firearms, a bomb, another person in the House or not.

That is the biggest challenge our blue light services face, is it a single explosion?

And I'd reflect on this, if unfortunately we had broken with lots of protocols and there had been a second device, and there's lots of evidence of second devices and second attacks that these people do, I'd hate to have been standing here for another reason saying we exposed our emergency services to too much danger because we rushed in.

It's a very difficult balance to make, I think they made that balance the right call on the night.

– Ben Wallace MP in answer to questions in Parliament

The search for truth by those affected by Arena Bomb

When Andy Burnham commissioned Lord Kerslake to carry out the review one of its aims was to answer the questions of the bereaved and the injured.

Steve Howe's wife Alison died and Martin Hibbert was seriously injured in the attack. They've spent the past 10 months trying to find out exactly what happened that night.

Why were the fire service delayed for so long and why weren't more paramedics sent into the foyer.

Amy Welch brought them together for the first time in the Search for the Truth

Kerslake Report recommends improved communications and better guidelines

The report by Lord Bob Kerslake into the response after the Manchester Arena Bomb attack has been published.

And while it found much to praise it also highlighted failings which hampered efforts to deal with the atrocity.

Rob Smith has the details.


Some families say that Kerslake Report has given them their say

The Kerslake report makes it clear how many families had completely different experiences. Some praised the care they were given in identifying their relatives, others saying they weren't given enough time to say goodbye.

Some welcomed police family liaison officers while others said they weren't with them long enough or were too intrusive. The report also highlights the lack of financial support from the Government for those still too traumatised to work.

Elaine Willcox has spoken to some families who feel this was a chance to finally have their say.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham says Kerslake Report starts to fill in the picture of Arena Bomb

Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham Credit: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Manchester Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham has been giving his view on the Kerslake Report.

Mr Burnham commissioned the inquiry into the response after the Manchester Arena bomb attack.

The 226-page report by Lord Bob Kerslake concluded the emergency response was "overwhelmingly positive."

But Lord Kerslake described the failure by fire chiefs as "extraordinary" and "incredible.", after it was found that decisions made by senior officers led to long delays in sending crews to the scene.

Mr Burnham says that full answers must wait until the inquests later this year, but that the report begins to fill in the picture.

Mother of Arena Bomb victim says we must all be better prepared for future attacks

Martyn Hett Credit: MEN Media

The Kerslake report has revealed how many families had completely different experiences of the bomb and its aftermath.

The investigation indicated that some people praised the care they were given in identifying their relatives, others saying they weren't given enough time to say goodbye.

Some people welcomed police family liaison officers while others said they weren't with them long enough or were too intrusive.

The mother of Martyn Hett says that she does feel that her voice has been heard. Figen Murray says that the report is sympathetic, that she has been listened to, and that we must all take steps to be better prepared for future attacks.

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