The first victim of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber was named this morning as an 18-year-old student from Runshaw College in Leyland.
Georgina Callander, a former pupil at Bishop Rawstorne CE Academy at Croston, was killed when a nail bomb tore through the foyer of the venue as a concert by American singer Ariana Grande was just ending last night.
A statement issued by Runshaw this morning said: “It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College.
“Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course.
“Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family, and all of those affected by this loss.
“We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.”
It is believed another Runshaw student was badly injured in the attack and is being treated in the intensive care unit of a Manchester hospital. But no further details have been released.
Close friends of Georgina, who lived in Tarleton, paid tribute to the teenager on social media, describing her as “a beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul.”
Bolton Wanderers also paid tribute on social media to Georgina who was a former youth player.
It was reported Georgina was one of the first casualties to be rushed from the scene by ambulance after the bombing at the end of the concert by US singer Ariana Grande.
Despite atttempts by medics to save her life, she died later in hospital with her mother at her bedside.
According to posts on Twitter, Georgina was an Ariana Grande “superfan” who had met her idol two years ago and had only tweeted the star on Sunday saying: “So excited to see you tomorrow.”
The American singer tweeted today: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart. I don’t have words.”
A friend called Sophie tweeted: “To my beautiful best friend I hope you rest in peace my darling. I love you so much and will always miss you.” She added: “There was not one bad bone in her body. She was a true ray of sunshine and loved everyone for who they were.”
B.J. Peterson wrote: “Puts a very real face on victims. She was following her passions and living so joyously. An incomprehensive tragedy.”
Emma Esberger tweeted: “I feel sick. This is so terrible. Sweet Georgina you will never be forgotten.We love you so much.”
Another, called Mikayla, wrote: “My heart hurts. Taken so soon. Rest easy beautiful Georgina.”
Actress and singer/songwriter Karen David, who met Georgina recently, put a message on Twitter saying: “No words . . we just met at #SBUK3 recently. This is beyond upsetting. Dearest Georgina . . . RIP kind and beautiful lady.”
Another friend called Dawn wrote: “One of our own. One who deserved to see so much. All she wanted was to see Ariana in concert. Her soul so pure. Heart so kind.”