Mum and two daughters from Harrogate district caught up in Manchester terror attack

Sophie Forster with her two daughters Hannah and Lily at the Manchester Arena before Ariana Grande came on stage.
Sophie Forster with her two daughters Hannah and Lily at the Manchester Arena before Ariana Grande came on stage.
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A mum from Bishop Monkton has described the horrific aftermath of the terror attack at Manchester Arena.

Sophie Forster had been attending the Ariana Grande concert as a special Christmas present for her two daughters, Lily, 12, and Hannah, 16, who had both been eagerly counting down the days to the event.

Sophie said: “Lily is a massive Ariana Grande fan, this was meant to be something to look forward to. The concert was amazing, she’d started with songs you didn’t know as well, then really built it up. We were having a great time. She was building up to the finale.

“I realised that we needed to make a move so we didn’t miss our train, but the girls wanted to stay because Ariana hadn’t performed her Dangerous song, the main one from her tour that they’d been looking forward to seeing her do.

“So I said let’s stay longer, we’ll get the next train it’s fine. We’re here now.

“Lily wanted a hat from the merchandise stand so I went to get her one. While I was there I talked to the ushers to find out where the nearest taxi rank was so that I could get us quickly away to catch our train.

“This is what scares me, the stand was close to where the explosion went off. I could have been killed, and my daughters wouldn’t have known where to go and been on their own.

“Thankfully I made it back to them before the bomb went off. We just heard this loud bang and at first we just thought it was a microphone or a speaker blowing up.

“But people started screaming, throwing themselves off their chairs to get down to the lower tier. People were getting trampled on and children were getting separated from their parents.

“There was also a lot of children on their own with parents waiting outside for them.

“Lily started to run because people were screaming, people were pushing and I told them not to run or panic.

“We found a lady covered in blood at the top of the stairs, that’s when we knew there had been a bomb."