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'I held dying Saffie Rose in my arms as she called out for her mum' reveals brave Manchester first aider

Mirror logo Mirror 25/05/2017 Natalie Evans
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A brave first responder who ran towards the sounds of explosions at Manchester Arena has told how he cradled dying Saffie Rose Roussos in his arms. 

Distraught Paul Reid tried to comfort and reassure the fatally injured eight-year-old as she cried out for her mum following the blast.

Paul, 43, ran back into the venue after he heard the bomb go off following the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday.

He was met with the horrific sight of bodies strewn across the foyer after suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his rucksack IED.

Little Saffie Rose was at the concert with her mum and older sister when the attacker struck.

The bomb blast sent shrapnel, nuts and bolts hurtling towards the youngster, described as “simply a beautiful little girl, in every aspect of the word”.

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Forklift truck driver Paul told The Sun how he wrapped Saffie in his coat and helped her onto a makeshift stretcher. 

He told the newspaper: "She was a dying little girl and she just wanted her mum. It was devastating."

A desperate search was launched online after Saffie was separated from her mum Lisa and sister Ashlee Bromwich, who is in her 20s.

A neighbour and family friend revealed the heartbreaking news that Lisa may have no idea her daughter is dead .

Lisa is said to have remained in hospital and was placed under heavy sedation.

Neighbour Salman Patel told Mail Online : “Saffie’s sadly passed away and her mother, we understand, isn’t aware. I am praying for the family, it is totally heartbreaking.”

The tragic youngster’s dad had no idea of the terror attack as he arrived at Manchester Arena to pick up his family.

Mr Patel said: “He went to pick them up and arrived to find his wife in a critical condition, his elder daughter injured and his younger daughter lost.

“I thought he meant lost in the crowd but heartbreakingly he meant lost forever, as in the end.

“I am praying the mum pulls through and copes with the tragedy of finding out when she does about her daughter.”

Her aunt told the Daily Mail: ""It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make it any better.

"Saffie was such a bubbly little girl. She was really pretty, absolutely adorable. I’m just numb inside.

"She had everything to live for, and its been taken away from her. And for what reason?

"Her parents are normal, respectable, people who have worked hard all their lives, all for some evil scum to wipe out their family."

In a statement, the little girl’s headteacher Chris Upton said the news was “heartbreaking”.

He said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends.

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.”

He added: “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl, in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly.

“Saffie was quiet and unassuming, with a creative flair. Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support to help us.

“We are a tight-knit school and wider community, and will give each other the support we need at this difficult time.”

Saffie’s parents are believed to run a fish and chip shop in Leyland, Lancs.

Before confirmation of Saffie’s death, the schoolgirl’s friends posted a Facebook appeal for information about her whereabouts.

Kate Tinsley, whose daughter Jessica is best friends with Saffie at Tarleton Community Primary School, near Preston, Lancs, said: “I’ve tried to contact Saffie’s mum and none of the messages have gone through on the phone. Jessica has gone to school today not knowing a thing.”

Saffie’s Brownie leader also paid tribute.

Tracey Radcliffe, 40, of 1st Tarleton Brownies, said: “She was an adorable and lovable little girl, she really was. I didn’t know her parents, but she was just lovely. No one should go to a gig and not return.”

The village of Tarleton is also mourning the death of teenager Georgina Callander.

The Ariana Grande “superfan” died hours after telling her idol she was “so excited to see you tomorrow”.

Health and social care student Georgina, 18, passed away in hospital with her mum at her bedside, according a friend.

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Shelby Wharton, 17, said: “We were all praying for her to be found safely. Then we were told she had passed away.”

Two years ago, Georgina – known as Gina – met Grande and posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram, saying: “She was so cute and lovely, I hugged her so tight and she said she loved my bow.

"I can’t get over this – I never will.”

Her friend Sophie Marsh posted on Instagram: “There are no words for how I am feeling!

“You were, and will always be my best friend! I watched you leave yesterday to go and see a concert that you had been looking forward to for ages, and now I don’t know what to do but cry.”

A candlelit vigil was attended by around 1,000 people to remember the two youngsters earlier this week.

Pink balloons were released and Ariana Grande songs played during the gathering at Mark Square, in Tarelton.

Georgina’s distraught mum Leslie clutched a blanket while she laid a single yellow flower in front of friends, family and villagers who had come to pay their respects.

Bishop John Goddard told them: “We are here to remember Georgina and Saffie – but also to remember their families.

“And to also remember those who went to an event thought to be a joyous occasion with mums and daughters.

"Sadly, however, it was a killing field.”

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