Manchester Arena attack: ‘Remote possibility' Leyland victim Saffie-Rose Roussos could have survived, inquiry hears

There was “only a remote possibility” Saffie-Rose Roussos – the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing – could have survived, an official report has concluded.
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The eight-year-old died after suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

She was conscious and able to talk with medics as she was placed into an ambulance and taken to hospital almost an hour after the blast.

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A report into the fatal consequences of the explosion found there was a '”remote possibility” she could have been saved if the rescue operation had been conducted differently.

There was "only a remote possibility" Saffie-Rose Roussos could have survived, an official report has concludedThere was "only a remote possibility" Saffie-Rose Roussos could have survived, an official report has concluded
There was "only a remote possibility" Saffie-Rose Roussos could have survived, an official report has concluded

On Thursday (November 3), Manchester Arena Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders delivered a scathing report on the response of the emergency services.

He said: “Significant aspects of the emergency response on 22nd May 2017 went wrong. This should not have happened.

“Some of what went wrong had serious and, in the case of John Atkinson, fatal consequences for those directly affected by the explosion.”

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22 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a suicide attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017 (Credit: Peter Byrne/ PA)22 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a suicide attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017 (Credit: Peter Byrne/ PA)
22 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a suicide attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017 (Credit: Peter Byrne/ PA)
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Lawyers for Saffie-Rose Roussos had submitted during the inquiry that her injuries were potentially survivable.

Sir John said it was “highly unlikely” Roussos would have survived her injuries, with “only a remote possibility she could have survived with different treatment and care.”

He concluded: “I do not consider that the evidence enables me to say she had absolutely no chance of survival if the most comprehensive and advanced medical treatment had been initiated immediately after injury.

“I make clear what I am postulating is a remote possibility of survival. On the evidence that I have accepted, what happened to Saffie-Rose Roussos represents a terrible burden of injury. It is highly likely her death was inevitable even if the most comprehensive and advanced medical treatment had been initiated immediately after injury.”

(Top L-R) Michelle Kiss, Georgina Callander (Bottom L-R) Saffie Roussos and Jane Tweddle(Top L-R) Michelle Kiss, Georgina Callander (Bottom L-R) Saffie Roussos and Jane Tweddle
(Top L-R) Michelle Kiss, Georgina Callander (Bottom L-R) Saffie Roussos and Jane Tweddle
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Three other victims from Lancashire were also killed in the bombing including Blackpool mum and school receptionist Jane Tweddle, 51; Georgina Callander, 18, from Hesketh Bank; Ribble Valley mum-of-three Michelle Kiss, 45.

Nicola Brook, a solicitor from Broudie Jackson Canter who represents five Manchester Arena victims’ families, including the family of Saffie-Rose Roussos, said: “This damning report reveals what the families knew all along, that all the organisations meant to protect their loved ones failed on an enormous and unfathomable scale.

“Saffie’s parents Andrew and Lisa have pushed to get answers about what happened to their beautiful daughter over five and a half incredibly traumatic years.

“After initially believing the blast had killed Saffie instantly, the pain of that loss was compounded by learning that she had lived for over an hour.”

Sir John Saunders, chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry (Credit: Steve Allen/ PA)Sir John Saunders, chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry (Credit: Steve Allen/ PA)
Sir John Saunders, chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry (Credit: Steve Allen/ PA)
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“Even more distressing was learning that their little girl had asked if she was going to die, something no parent should have to hear.

He continued: “To finally learn today that Saffie was denied medical care that had the potential to save her life, is a devastating blow.

“However, it is testament to their strength that they have taken comfort that the daughter they loved so much fought for life until the end.

“The family is comforted that the chair has made recommendations to help close the care gap that may have made all the difference to Saffie.”