A homeless man has spoken about the horrific scenes surrounding the Manchester Arena bombing, where he comforted a lost child and later held a dying woman in his arms.
Chris Parker was in the arena foyer when the explosions happened, as tens of thousands of people raced for the venue exits. The 33-year-old says the blasts knocked him to the ground, but instead of running away from the chaos, he ran towards it.
He told the M.E.N: "Everyone was piling out, all happy and everything else. As people were coming out of the glass doors I heard a bang and within a split-second I saw a white flash, then smoke and then I heard screaming."
What Chris saw next, though, is heart-breaking: "I saw a little girl. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said, 'Where is your mum and daddy?' She said, 'My dad is at work, my mum is up there.'"
Mr Parker says after making sure the girl was okay, he found a woman in her 60s struggling with injuries sustained in the blast. Despite his best efforts however, she died in his arms.
Chris has told the newspaper: "I haven't stopped crying. The most shocking part of it is that it was a kids' concert.
"There were nuts and bolts all over the floor. People had holes in their back. It's the screams I can't get over and the smell... I don't like to say it but it smelled like burning flesh."
In a press conference outside Downing Street, British Prime Minister Theresa May has told reporters: "We struggle to understand the warped and twisted mind that sees a room of young people as an opportunity for carnage.
"The people of Manchester and the UK have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack - an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with callous calculation."
Mrs May says the bombing is one of the worst attacks on British soil and is by far the highest death toll from a terror attack in the North West. Intelligence services have reportedly identified the bomber but it's unclear yet whether he operated alone or was a part of a wider group.
Concluding her address, the Prime Minister said: "There will be difficult days ahead. Our values and our country and our way of life will always prevail."
A vigil will be held at Albert Square in Manchester this evening at 6pm.
If you're worried about family or friends following the incident at Manchester Arena, you can call the emergency helpline on 0161 8569 400.
Featured Image Credit: PA