Great Britain

Manchester Arena inquiry LIVE updates as witnesses continue to give evidence

More evidence from survivors of the Manchester Arena terror bombing is due to be heard today at the ongoing public inquiry into the atrocity.

Janet Senior, Josephine Howarth and Andrea Bradbury, who at the time was a retired counter terrorism police officer, were all in the City Room, the foyer of the arena where suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a huge device in his backpack, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds more.

His younger brother Hashem Abedi, now 23, was convicted of 22 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to cause an explosion following a trial in March last year.

He was jailed for a minimum of 55 years in August last year. Although he was in Libya at the time of the blast, he had helped his brother Salman prepare the attack.

The inquiry is investigating the circumstances that led to the 22 people being killed in the blast.

Follow our live updates from the inquiry below.

Janet Senior, the first witness of the day, is being taken through her evidence by Sophie Cartwright QC on behalf of the inquiry

Ms Senior had gone to the arena with her sister Josie Howarth and their nieces, 19 and 13, who had attended the concert.

They had been given a Christmasd present to attend the concert.

She was 'there by default' to drive the party to the concert. The plan was to get there at lunchtime and spend some time in Manchester 'as a treat'.

"The kids were so excited as they are concert-goers." she said.

They went into the City Room via the car park to have a look and then they went into the city centre where they enjoyed a 'lovely afternoon'.

They went to the arena at 'five-ish'.

It was still 'quite quiet' and the children queued up to buy some hoodies from a merchandise stall, the inquiry is told.

The girls had VIP tickets which got them closer to the stage, said Ms Senior.

"They were really excited, they were buzzing," she said, adding that the girls took pictures which the girls then sent to their mums.

Mrs Senior described talking to a member of staff at the door into the Arena who was checking tickets.

Children were 'rushing past' the woman and no bags were being checked or tickets checked, she said.

She said the arrangement at the door 'was very casual'.

Mrs Senior recalled telling her sister: "These places are an accident waiting to happen." She agreed the security was poor when pressed by the chairman.

She noted there was 'plenty' of staff on the merchandise stands but half of the staff on the doors 'looked very young'.

One she recalled was 'allegedly doing the bag checks.

There were 'three or four' staff on the door, she said.

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