“I feel constantly sick, I can’t stop thinking about it,” Man Met students recall night of terror at Manchester Arena

  • Journalism students at Manchester Metropolitan were among those caught up in the Manchester terror attack
  • "We saw bodies outside the train station entrance with blood all over them"
  • "It was the loudest sound I've ever heard. My ears were ringing"

Several MMU journalism students were in attendance of the Ariana Grande concert which was the target of a vicious terror attack on Monday night.

We previously heard Alicia Hattersley’s harrowing eye-witness account. More students have bravely come forward with their own accounts of the horror that griped Manchester earlier this week. 

Jack Park, a third-year journalism student at MMU, was also exposed first-hand to the horrors of Monday night:  “Well, my housemates and myself were sat at the back, just on the block over from the blast next to the left set of stairs.

“We left just as Ariana left the stage and about three-quarters of the way up we heard the biggest blast go off.

It was the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. My ears were ringing. We just looked for a few seconds as people ran away from the stairs and past us near the foyer screaming.

“We saw smoke coming towards us and just ran. We all managed to run to the exit where you instantly go down some stairs and got forced into a stampede. Crushed against walls and rails as everyone tried to get out.

People were shouting ‘get the f*** out, we’re going to die,’ and all I could picture was being shot in the back and not getting out at all.

“We got out and ran for about a mile. I ran for ages it seemed as police cars raced past us and we found ourselves on Broughton Street near Cheetham Hill. We just all hid behind a wall of an old people’s home for about an hour and a half because nobody could come and get us. We saw a helicopter circling round and people were trying to talk to us constantly. We got picked up by a friend of a friend just after midnight and got us in the car and we got back to our house in Fallowfield. None of us slept and we just sat with the news on.

Since then I’ve just felt constantly sick and can’t stop thinking about it.

Jack continued, explaining how witnessing the attack on the Manchester Arena can have a continuing impact on those unfortunate enough to be there: “The day after, my housemates all went out various places and I just went to stay at a friend’s in the city centre because I didn’t want to be close to the bombers house and definitely not alone.

“It sounds weird explaining it all now. I’ve just been trying to keep busy, but seeing constant police and hearing more about it as well as the army just makes me sick.

“Part of me thinks it wasn’t really and I always have a nervous laugh so I find myself laughing but it was the most fucked up terrifying thing to ever happen to me. Every other thought is about it.”

Isaac Dixon, in his first year at university in Manchester, had previously seen Ariana Grande: “I’d been to the Birmingham show on Thursday, so I knew the set list. As the encore was coming to an end, I said to my friend, ‘let’s go now so we don’t get caught in all the people leaving’.

“We were sat on the upper tier, so we were walking through the corridors of the arena with other people just about to head to the merchandise stand, where the bomb actually went off, and then we heard an explosion.”

Isaac Dixon snapchat
Isaac’s snapchat hours before the deadly attack

“We all just thought it was a piece of stage equipment falling but then the girls behind us shouted ‘run!’ so we all darted down the stairs. It was like a stampede, so many people running out of one exit, and then we saw bodies outside the train station entrance with blood all over them, disfigured ligaments, there was police everywhere as well.”

Anyone affected by the events who needs help and support can contact the University’s counselling services on 0161 247 3493 or their counselling website.

The GMP casualty bureau number is 0800 096 0095 if you are concerned about family or friends who may have been affected.