A Dewsbury man who was just yards from the suicide bomb that killed 22 people on Monday in Manchester has described it as the ‘worst night of his life’.
Harry Shillito, of Ludwell Close, was at the Manchester Arena concert with his partner Chloe watching the performance of Ariana Grande and had been preparing to leave the venue when ‘all hell broke loose’.
The 20-year-old says he was about just 20 metres from where the explosion happened which sent deadly burning shrapnel flying in all directions.
Uninjured but left badly shaken by the ordeal, he and Chloe fled from the venue, running for two miles.
The former Ossett High School pupil said: “I don’t understand how I’m still alive and not hurt, I’m absolutely heartbroken.
“The concert had just finished and I was making my way out to the concourse area when I heard the loudest explosion; the loudest noise I’ve heard in my life.
“Everything went blurry, my hearing had gone.
“Then there was a beeping noise, dust everywhere and the screams, that is what I remember the most.
“As the dust started to settle, we could see people being dragged away. It was like a horror film, we just had to run.
“We ran about two miles - all I could smell was burning - then I broke down and started crying.
“I’ve been thinking about the ones who weren’t as lucky, and how I’m not put off attending any crowded places now.”
Another couple from West Yorkshire, Susan and Nigel Hilditch, from Wrenthorpe, were hit in the legs by the flying shrapnel and were treated in hospital.
Liam Holdsworth, 18, from East Ardsley, was still in the auditorium when the bomb detonated at the end of the concert.
He said: “Everyone stopped and looked at each other, saying ‘what the hell was that?
“We were on the first tier above the stage and there was a pit at the bottom where you could just see everybody running.
“It looked like something from a horror film.
“Everyone was screaming and crying. It was so scary.
“We saw a little girl who was just screaming and crying her eyes out. The police then took her.
“It was so heartbreaking, we didn’t know what to do.”