John Atkinson, one of the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena attack, could have survived if not for ‘inadequacies’ in the emergency service response, a report has found.
The report from the inquiry into the atrocity stated that it took an hour and 16 minutes before the 28-year-old care worker received the medical treatment he needed for his severe leg injuries.
In that time, a brave member of the public – Ronald Blake – used his wife’s belt as a makeshift tourniquet on John’s leg for almost an hour.
The harrowing report details how John, who was still conscious after the blast at an Ariana Grande concert, at one stage clung on to the advertising board that was used as a makeshift stretcher, which later buckled under his weight – something that ‘must have been very painful for him’.
He suffered multiple cardiac arrests and was declared dead at Manchester Royal Infirmary at 12.24am.
The long-awaited inquiry report from Sir John Saunders was published this afternoon and outlines in upsetting detail the things that ‘went badly wrong’ on that devastating night at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017, despite the heroic and brave efforts of those who attended the scene.
It says that there were communication failures between emergency services, such as Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service, British Transport Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, as well as a lack of preparedness for an emergency of this scale.
Sir John’s report states that 20 of the 22 victims suffered ‘unsurvivable’ injuries – one who stood a chance of survival was John Atkinson, the other was the attack’s youngest victim, Saffie-Rose Roussos.
It was noted that there was only a ‘remote possibility’ that the eight-year-old girl could have been saved. She drifted in and out of consciousness for 26 minutes after the bomb detonated.
But of John Atkinson, it said: “In the case of John Atkinson, his injuries were survivable. Had he received the treatment and care he should have, it is likely that he would have survived. It is likely that inadequacies in the emergency response prevented his survival.”
His family said: “It is now clear beyond any doubt that on the night of the bombing John was totally failed at every stage, both by the private medical providers at the arena – ETUK – and the emergency services. It is crystal clear that due to those failings, John died from injuries that he could and should have survived.”
Sir John praised the ‘heroic acts’ of those who tried to help victims of the arena attack.
He wrote: “These were members of the public who were in or around the Arena; people who worked at the Arena or in the Victoria Exchange Complex; and members of the emergency services who went into the City Room in the early stages.
“These people ignored the risks to their own safety to try to do what they could to help the dying and the injured.”
He but concluded that ‘a great deal went wrong’ in the emergency service response.
Only three paramedics entered the arena foyer, and no stretchers were taken from the waiting ambulances – instead, injured people were carried using boards, crowd barriers and tables. It was a ‘painful and unsafe way of moving the injured.’
Sir John concluded his Manchester Arena report with: “I believe that I have got to the truth of what happened on that dreadful night. I have certainly had assistance from many clever, hardworking and motivated people to do so. I am very grateful to them all.
“I also hope fervently that what comes out of this Inquiry will make a difference, and I ask all those concerned with what happens next to ensure that it does.”
Featured image: Family handout
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood
On Twitter, someone said: “I wouldn’t mind knowing where he is either he’s [flame emoji].”
In all serious though, Humberside Police said of Robert Rimmer: “If you see him, or know where he is, please do not approach him but instead call us immediately on our non-emergency 101 line quoting investigation reference 20900368291.
“If you would prefer to report information anonymously you can do so via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”