Fire service arrived two hours late to Manchester Arena bombing, finds report

Fire and Rescue Service admits it "let down the people of Greater Manchester"

A new report has found that the fire service arrived at the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing two hours late.

On May 22 last year, suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed himself and 22 others in an attack as gig-goers left an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester venue. Around 700 people were injured.

A new report, published by former civil servant Lord Kerslake, found that the fire service played “no meaningful role” in the aftermath of the attack.


Two fire crews station near enough to the venue to hear the explosion were sent three miles away amid fears that the incident was a marauding attack, the report states.

It also details serious communication failure between the fire crews and “risk-averse” officers.

Manchester vigil
Manchester vigil

The home-made device was detonated at 22:31, with the first paramedic arriving at 22:42. The fire service only decided to send in officers at 00.15, according to the report.


The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has since admitted that it “let down the people of Greater Manchester and other visitors to the city that night”.


Vodafone is also criticised in the report, with the company’s emergency phone system that assists police forces in times of crisis experiencing a “catastrophic failure”.

A separate report previously found that the Manchester Arena attack could have potentially been prevented.

That report, overseen by MI5 director general Andrew Parker, found that the security agency had received intelligence “not appreciated at the time” about Abedi and that the Manchester attack could have possibly been prevented if different decisions had been taken by MI5.

Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun also recently revealed that the singer “cried for days” following the attack.


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