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Manchester attack: Homeless man tells of how he helped young victims of suicide blast

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 24/05/2017 Sean Morrison
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A homeless man said he pulled nails from the faces of injured children before paramedics arrived to treat victims of the Manchester terror attack.

Stephen Jones, 35, was sleeping when he heard the blast that killed 22 people and injured 59 others at Manchester Arena on Monday night.

After rushing to help, he said he found “a lot of children with blood all over them and crying and screaming” as hundreds fled the area in horror.

“They needed the help, I’d like to think that someone would come and help me if I needed the help,” he told ITV news. “It’s just instinct.”

He described how he and a friend pulled nails from a small child’s face after she was injured in the horrifying scenes after an Adriana Grande concert.

He added: “Some lady, she got cut from her side, so my mate had to hold her legs up... we just held her legs up because we thought she was just going to bleed right out.

"If I didn't help, I wouldn't be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that. Just because I'm homeless it doesn't mean that I haven't got a heart and I'm not human still.”

Another rough sleeper, Chris Parker, 33, said he helped youngsters as they fled the scene after the bombing in the foyer at about 10.30pm.

Mr Parker, who was in the foyer at the time of the attack, said the blast knocked him to the floor.

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He added: “And then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try to help.

“There were people lying on the floor everywhere. I saw a little girl... she had no legs.

“I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said ‘where is your mum and daddy?’ She said, ‘My dad is at work, my mum is up there’.”

One day after the attack, thousands of people gathered in the centre of Manchester in a show of defiance.

Crowds spilled from Albert Square on to nearby roads, standing together in an act of solidarity following the blast at the city’s 21,000 capacity venue.

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