On Monday, May 22, a bomb went off within Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester Arena immediately after her set ended, causing at least 22 fatalities and over 50 injuries. The attack was said to be carried out by a lone suicide bomber, with ISIS later claiming responsibility for the attack.
After the bomb went off, Stephen Jones, a 35-year-old homeless man in the area, didn’t hesitate to rush to aid victims of the attack.
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 23, 2017
He explained in an interview with ITV News that he had been sleeping in the area of the arena when the bomb had gone off, initially under the impression it was a firework.
He realized what was going on when he saw children rushing out, screaming and covered in blood.
Jones gave graphic descriptions on what he saw, stating: “We haven’t slept most of the night because of what we’ve seen.”
He recalls having to pull nails out of children’s faces, as well as children’s lifeless bodies laying on the floor with mothers in hysterics. “I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d just walked away,” he said.
Jones told ITV:
“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart.”
Another homeless man in the area, 33-year-old Chris Parker, didn’t hesitate to help as well.
He said, “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.”
Parker described helping a young girl who had lost her legs during the blast, asking where her parents were. He wrapped her in a merchandise t-shirt and she replied that her dad was at work and her mom was still in the arena. Parker stated he thought her mother died from injuries.
According to Independent, he also held an elderly woman who he believed to be in her 60s in his arms as she died. “She passed away in my arms. She was in her 60s and said she had been with her family.”
Someone has started a GoFundMe for Parker, which has already surpassed its goal by over £1,000.