Wednesday, February 8

Family of Manchester Arena bombing victim are subject of new BBC Panorama film

The family of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack are the subject of a new BBC Panorama documentary.

Twenty-two people died and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in the foyer at the venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

Saffie-Rose Roussos, 8, was the youngest victim of the attack. Tonight (March 7), her family will appear in a new Panorama film called Manchester Arena Bombing: Saffie’s Story.

As the Lancashire Telegraph reports, the documentary follows the Roussos family as they return to Manchester from their new home in Dorset to give evidence at the public inquiry into the bombing.

The family spoke to BBC Panorama journalist Judith Moritz for Saffie’s Story, which sees Saffie’s father Andrew meet Lord David Anderson QC, who was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation between 2011-2017.

In 2017, the government asked Lord Anderson to conduct an independent review of M15 and counter-terror policing following the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London that year.

After the meeting, Andrew told Panorama: “Questions need to be answered… why do we keep losing our loved ones?”

Tributes for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack – Credit: Getty

Saffie’s mother Lisa, who was badly injured in the bombing, also spoke of a room that is dedicated to her daughter at the family’s new house.

“Everything in this room is what she knew, that she’d seen,” she said. “That’s what we wanted. We didn’t want anything changing. She’s here with me and I wouldn’t want her anywhere else.”

Andrew, meanwhile, explained that the family decided to move away from Lancashire when Lisa was discharged from hospital. “Me and Lisa couldn’t face what we had as a family,” he told Panorama.

Andrew and Lisa believed that Saffie had been killed instantly in the Manchester Arena attack for three years. However, a report commissioned at the request of their legal team later found that she was conscious and had lived for more than an hour after the explosion.

“Could she have survived? Couldn’t she?” Lisa said. “If she could have survived, then you think about the care she was given or the lack of it. So that just throws you into turmoil and I know that if she had been given that chance she would still be here, I really do.”

Andrew added: “Finding out exactly what happened is hard to take because you don’t want anyone to suffer, never mind your child.

“It does make you very angry and gets you very upset to know that that little girl did everything she could to keep herself going and the system failed her, and I want to get to the bottom of that.”

Manchester Arena Bombing: Saffie’s Story airs tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

Last year, Paul Hett, the father of 29-year-old victim Martyn, said the bombing “should have been prevented” and claimed that those who lost their lives were “failed on every level”.

Ariana Grande paid tribute to the Manchester Arena victims to mark the fourth anniversary of the attack last May. “Please know that i am thinking of you today,” she wrote, adding: “Manchester, my heart is with you today and always.”

The post Family of Manchester Arena bombing victim are subject of new BBC Panorama film appeared first on NME.

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