As news of the atrocity at the Manchester Arena continues to dominate the headlines a shop owner, who took her 12-year-old daughter to the Ariana Grande concert as a birthday treat, has described seeing “a sea of screaming girls” running towards them.
Kim Birtwistle and her daughter, Amie, a pupil at Unity College in Burnley, were almost out of the Manchester Arena when the bomb went off and they found themselves frantically running towards the exits with thousands of other terrified people.
Kim (38) who owns Hidden Gems in Burnley town centre, said: "I don't think it has sunk in yet what has happened, we are just so thankful that we are ok and our thoughts go out to all the people who lost their lives and their families."
Speaking about the night Kim described how everyone was running and screaming after the explosion
She said: "We were making our way out when we heard the explosion and I turned round and saw a sea of girls running towards us screaming.
"The stewards were directing people out of certain exits and others were blocked and they were just saying to people to get out as quickly as possible and to get away from the building."
Kim helped two young girls who were in shock and crying outside the arena after being separated from their parents.
She said: "They were obviously upset so I said they could stay with us until their parents were found which took about 40 minutes I just tried to reassure them and keep them calm."
Kim’s husband, Pete, who works at Sainsbury’s in Burnley, had been due to meet them in the foyer of the arena but decided to nip to the loo at Victoria Station next door, a move that could have saved his life.
Kim, said: “If he had been a few minutes later it could have been a different story. "