Manchester Terror Attack: Sheffield man caught up in bomb blast

Matthew Hewitt
Matthew Hewitt
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A Sheffield man caught up in the bomb blast in Manchester last night said the explosion was deafening and like an 'earthquake'.

Matthew Hewitt, aged 33, from Norfolk Park, was at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena last night when a suicide bomber struck - killing 22 and injuring another 59.

He said he and his friend Jodie Priest, also from Sheffield, were in the process of leaving the venue when they heard 'a major boom'.

"We heard this major boom, a really loud bang, like nothing I have ever heard before in my life. It was deafening," he said.

The friends said the Arena started to shake and described mass panic and confusion as people fled.

"Everything started shaking, it was like an earthquake," added Matthew, who works for shop firm Wilkinson's.

"Everyone was asking what it was, what was happening and we didn't know at first if it was pyrotechnics as the show finale, or whether it was balloons popping but it soon became obvious it was something serious."

He said he saw people collapsed on the ground outside.

"As we got out we saw people collapsed, we also saw people with blood on them - either victims or people who had helped others," he said.

"There were also people running everywhere, it was chaos as people panicked."

He said he was devastated at the death toll.

"I can't believe this happened, it was a pop concert full of young people enjoying themselves - it's upsetting to think some never returned home," added Matthew.

Sheffield Steelers' head coach Paul Thompson's niece attended the concert.

Posting on Facebook, he wrote: My niece left the concert 10 minutes before the explosion thankfully, but many didn't. My love and thoughts are with the families.
Our Nation became even stronger with this act of cowardice."

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