Manchester Arena Bombing: when was the attack, who were the victims, and what happened to 8-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos?

Manchester Arena Bombing: Saffie’s Story, a new BBC documentary tells the story of the terror attack’s youngest victim, and her family.

Saffie’s parents, Lisa and Andrew.Saffie’s parents, Lisa and Andrew.
Saffie’s parents, Lisa and Andrew.

The parents of Saffie Rou-Rose Roussos, an eight year old victim of the Manchester Arena terror attack are the subject of a new documentary.

The half hour programme will take another look at the terror attack that killed 22 people in Manchester, and injured more than 1,000.

The documentary will focus on the youngest person to be killed in the attack, Saffie Roussos, and her family.

When was the Manchester Arena terror attack?

The suicide bombing terror attack took place at Manchester Arena, during an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.

At just after 10.30pm that night, towards the end of the concert, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive devise which had been packed with metal nuts and bolts to make it even more lethal.

The following day, 23 May, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack which would ultimately claim 22 lives, not including the suicide bomber.

Emergency services working at the scene of the Manchester Arena Bombing. Picture: SWNS Emergency services working at the scene of the Manchester Arena Bombing. Picture: SWNS
Emergency services working at the scene of the Manchester Arena Bombing. Picture: SWNS

Who were the victims of the attack?

Tragically, because the attack took place at a pop concert, many of the victims were children.

Ten of the victims were younger than 20, whilst the oldest victim was 51- year- old school receptionist Jane Twiddle.

Megan Hurley, a 15- year- old schoolgirl from Liverpool was the last victim to be named by police.

Other victims included 17- year- old Chloe Rutherford and her boyfriend, 19- year- old Liam Curry, who had both travelled from South Shields to attend the concert.

Courtney Boyle and her stepfather Philip Tron, off- duty police officer Elaine McIver, and 14- year- old Eilidh MacLeod, who went to the concert to celebrate her birthday also numbered among the victims.

The youngest person to be killed in the attack was Saffie-Rose Roussos, who was aged just eight.

The names of the other victims are Sorrell Leczkowski, Wendy Fawell, Michelle Kiss, Nell Jones, Martyn Hett, Marcin and Angelika Klis, Alison Howe, Lisa Lees, Kelly Brewster, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, John Atkinson, and Georgina Callander.

In addition, 112 concert-goers were hospitalised, and some received life-altering injuries.

What happened to Saffie-Rose Roussos and her family?

Saffie lived with her parents, Lisa and Andrew Roussos, and brother Xander in a family flat in Lancashire.

Saffie went to the concert with her mother, and they were both caught in the explosion.

Lisa was seriously injured, needing nine operations, but Saffie would tragically die from injuries sustained in the blast.

At first, Saffie’s parents believed that she had been killed instantly by the explosion, however an inquiry which opened in September 2020 revealed that this was not the case.

It found that Saffie survived the initial blast, though was suffering severe blood loss due to injuries to her legs.

The inquiry resolved that, had basic medical techniques such as the use of tourniquets or splints been used, Saffie may have survived.

Tragically, Saffie was pronounced dead at 11.40pm 22 May, just over an hour after the explosion.

Saffie’s family never returned to their Lancashire flat, deciding instead to move south to Devon.

Saffie’s parents are the subject of the BBC Panorama documentary, and it will follow them as they return to Manchester to give evidence to the public inquiry into the attack.

When is the documentary on TV?

The documentary, Manchester Arena Bombing: Saffie’s Story, will air at 8pm on 7 March on BBC One.

It will also be aired at 12.05am on 12 March, and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer after its initial broadcast on 7 March.