Missed opportunities to stop Manchester bombing attack

Eilidh MacLeod from Barra was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.
Eilidh MacLeod from Barra who died in the Manchester Arena bombing. NO F16 Eilidh MacLeod 01

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A public inquiry report into the Manchester Arena bombing that took the life of a Barra teenager and 21 others has found there were missed opportunities to avert or minimise the devastating impact.

The first of three reports published by the public inquiry, which began in September, criticised British Transport Police (BTP), the arena operators SMG and contract security providers Showsec.

Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said bomber Salman Abedi should have been identified as a threat by security.

As well as those who were killed, hundreds of others were hurt when Abedi detonated a device after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 four years ago.

Sir John said it was likely Abedi would have still detonated his device even if confronted but the loss of life and injury was highly likely to have been less.

He also said the arena was always a possible target for a terrorist even though the nation’s severe terror threat level that night was not specific to any particular premises.

Sir John has supported the introduction of new  legislation to place a duty on venue operators to consider and cater for the risk of a terrorist attack.

The Barra family of 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod said they would not be making a comment on either this or the following two reports to come from the public inquiry.

A charity has since been set up in memory of the talented young piper  to give children and young people in rural areas across the UK a musical education.

To find out more about the charity’s work go to https://www.eilidhstrust.org.uk/