Manchester attack: Victoria railway station reopens

Tributes to Manchester victims Image copyright PA

Manchester Victoria railway station has reopened more than a week after the suicide attack at the city's arena.

The station, attached to Manchester Arena, was shut after the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert, which left 22 people dead and dozens injured.

More CCTV footage of bomber Salman Abedi has been released and police are appealing for people who might have seen him carrying a blue suitcase.

Forensic teams have also been seen searching a landfill site in Bury.

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, told the BBC on Tuesday that Abedi had been known to the force for "relatively minor matters" - but not for extremist views.

Staff were visibly upset as they returned to work for the first time, after being some of the first responders on the ground on the night of the attack.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling were among those to lay wreaths at the station as it reopened.

Image caption Mayor Andy Burnham said there had been a "city-wide response" to the attack

Mr Burnham told the BBC: "People went above and beyond what you would expect. Those who rushed into the danger were station staff.

"In these moments, you do see the best of people, you see the best of our public services and it is quite awe-inspiring to hear that."

'I just want to hug everyone'

By Michelle Adamson, BBC Manchester reporter at Victoria station

There is a sombre atmosphere among commuters as Victoria stations reopens.

The heartache is still raw following the Arena attack and some commuters are in tears as they attempt to get back to their normal routines.

People have been emotional but what unites them all is a steely defiance to carry on. Commuter Hannah Khan, 32, said: "I just want to hold my hands out and hug everyone."

Black cab driver George Berry, 60, from Bury, is back on the taxi rank at Victoria Station.

He said he had "mixed feelings but I'm glad to be back at work".

He said the lives of those not directly affected by the attacks would be returning to normal.

"They won't forget, but you have to make a living."

Liam Sumpter, managing director of Northern Trains, which run out at Manchester Victoria, said 15 members of staff were among those first on the scene.

"They provided first aid and comfort to those victims without any thought to their own safety and without any training in that sort of response," he said.

"They did the whole industry proud and I've got no doubt that they made a big difference on the evening."

BBC news correspondent Frankie McCamley spoke to staff returning to work, who told her it was strange to be back and that the bombing was an experience they would never forget.

One worker described how he had had to drag someone to safety on the night, but said the whole incident was "still a blur".

Police appeals

The station reopening comes as the investigation into the attack continues.

Mr Hopkins told BBC Radio Manchester that Abedi had been known to the police for theft, receiving stolen goods and minor assault in 2012.

However, he said he was not known to the government's Prevent programme, which aims to deradicalise young people or prevent others from being radicalised.

"(He) was not on any sort of Prevent agenda," he said. "Obviously I am not privy to what the security service did or didn't know about that individual at this time. But from a police perspective that's what I knew."

On Monday, police released a new image showing Abedi on the day of the attack with a blue suitcase.

Officers are appealing for people who might have seen him carrying it in the Wilmslow Road area or the city centre between 18 and 22 May.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Police are asking for anyone who saw Abedi with the case between 18 and 22 May to get in touch

Det Ch Supt Russ Jackson, from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "I want to stress that this is a different item than the one he used in the attack.

"We have no reason to believe the case and its contents contain anything dangerous, but would ask people to be cautious."

He added: "The public should not approach the case if they see it but contact police immediately on 999."

New CCTV footage has emerged that appears to show Abedi shopping at a convenience store.

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Media captionCCTV footage appears to show the Manchester bomber walking around a shop

The footage was recorded in a shop close to the flat where the suicide bomber was in the hours before the attack.

The BBC has given the footage to investigating officers.

Greater Manchester Police have asked anyone with information to contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.

Police have also been carrying out searches at a tip next to the M66 motorway, between Bury and Heywood.

Officers were seen standing on guard at the entrance to the Viridor site, as well as on a public footpath around it.

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Media captionAerials of anti-terror search at a landfill site near Bury

A number of other searches were carried out on Monday, including in Whalley Range and Rusholme, Manchester, Chester, and Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, where a 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation. Two have been released and 14 remain in custody.

Mr Hopkins said there were 18 scenes that were still being guarded and forensically examined across Greater Manchester.

He also said that the investigation was set to continue for some time and that "a significant team of detectives" would be brought together ahead of the "inevitable court cases".

On Monday night at 22:31 BST, exactly a week after the attack, a moment of silence was held in Manchester's St Ann's Square after more tributes had been laid for the victims.

Hundreds of people attended and broke into applause, as well as chants of "Manchester", in another showing of solidarity in the city.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Hundreds of people attended the vigil on Monday night

Irina Tomic, 17, from Warrington whose friends had been at the concert, said: "I wanted to come here to pay my respects. It feels like everyone has come together."

Ariana Grande has said she will return to Manchester to play a benefit gig for the victims of the attack.

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