Glasgow & West Scotland

Manchester Attack: Father tells of bomb 'carnage'

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Media captionJimmy Geddes had gone to pick his daughter Annalyse when the bomb went off

A father from Wishaw has told BBC Scotland of his shock at witnessing the immediate aftermath of the Manchester bomb attack - as he desperately tried to find his daughter.

Jimmy Geddes was waiting outside the Manchester Arena when the suicide bomber struck on Monday night.

His daughter Annalyse, 14, was inside with a friend, listening to Ariana Grande.

Twenty-two people died in the attack, including Eilidh MacLeod, from Barra.

Fourteen-year-old Eilidh's friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, was seriously injured.

Mr Geddes told the BBC how he had heard the explosion as he waited in his car and rushed inside to try to find his daughter and her friend.

"I was just texting a friend then the bomb went off," he said. "I then rang him and said 'a bomb's gone off'. I need to go and get my kids.

Image caption Jimmy Geddes said the foyer area was "carnage"

"As I entered the foyer area it was just carnage. There were just bodies lying everywhere. It was just horrific. And I'd told the kids to come out that way.

"I was mainly looking at the footwear on the bodies as it would be easy to recognise my daughter by her footwear as she had these big pink, glittery boots on."

Mr Geddes believes he saw the suicide bomber Salman Abedi among the bodies.

He said: "At first I was describing him as being an animal but animals wouldn't do things like that to themselves - only some sort of evil type form this person is. I wouldn't even call him a person."

Mr Geddes managed to make his way to the section of the arena where his daughter's seat was.

"People started flooding out, all smiles, they'd just taken in a really great concert," he said. "Everyone was laughing and joking and I was stopping them from going down towards the main entrance.

Image caption Annalyse Geddes had gone to the gig with a friend

"All of the people coming out hadn't really clicked. They didn't know what had happened. So there wasn't that much screaming," he said.

"I think they all knew something was wrong but not the extent of what had happened."

"I saw my girl and her wee pal coming out of the door. I gave them the biggest hug ever.

" I didn't see any security or stewards. I was worried about a second device."

'A miracle'

Mr Geddes got the girls out of the venue through a different exit.

"Even as we got into the car I was thinking something could still happen," he said. "Everybody was just desperate to get out of the car park.

"I told the kids what had happened. I didn't phone my wife until I had the kids safely in my arms."

Mr Geddes said he thought it was "a miracle" that he found his daughter and her friend 10 minutes after the bomb went off.

He got back to Wishaw at about 02:30.

"My wife and mother in law were so relieved to see us," he said.

"If I had been at the arena by myself I would have done more to help but I was just making sure my own kids were all right."

'Living nightmare'

Meanwhile, the parish priest on Barra is urging the island community to come together and pray this weekend, following "a devastating week".

Ahead of Mass on Sunday, he said: "A week which began normally for so many has turned out to be real living nightmare, especially for two of our island families.

"Today we face the reality that one of our teenage girls - Laura MacIntyre, aged only 15 - is in hospital in Manchester fighting for her life with her parents by her bedside.

"And sadly another of our beautiful teenage girls - Eilidh MacLeod, aged only 14 - has died tragically in Manchester because of the terrible atrocity of the terrorist bombing.

"I have spoken to both families, to both sets of parents, and they have asked me to tell everyone that they are so grateful for all your love and support, prayers and messages.

"Their hearts are broken, their lives have changed forever but they are lifted up by the love and support of their island and also by the wider world."

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