Family of Manchester Arena bombing victim is subject of new Panorama film

The family of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena terror attack is the subject of a new BBC Panorama documentary.

Twenty-two people died and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in the hall of the venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

Saffie-Rose Roussos, 8, was the youngest victim of the attack. Tonight (March 7), his family will appear in a new Panorama movie called Manchester Arena attack: Saffie’s story.

As the Lancashire Telegraph reports, the documentary follows the Roussos family as they return to Manchester from their new home in Dorset to give evidence at the public inquiry into the bombing.

The family spoke to the BBC Panorama journalist Judith Moritz for Saffie’s storywhich sees Saffie’s father Andrew meet Lord David Anderson QC, who was the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation between 2011 and 2017.

In 2017, the government asked Lord Anderson to lead an independent review of M15 and counter-terrorism policing following the Manchester and London terror attacks that year.

After the meeting, Andrew said Panorama: “There are questions to be answered… why do we continue to lose our loved ones?”

Tributes to the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack – Credit: Getty

Saffie’s mother Lisa, who was seriously injured in the bombing, also spoke of a room dedicated to her daughter in the family’s new home.

“Everything in that room is what she knew, what she had seen,” she said. “That’s what we wanted. We didn’t want to change anything. She’s here with me and I wouldn’t want her anywhere else.

Andrew, meanwhile, explained that the family decided to leave Lancashire when Lisa was discharged from hospital. “Me and Lisa couldn’t cope with what we had as a family,” he said Panorama.

Andrew and Lisa believed Saffie was killed instantly in the Manchester Arena attack for three years. However, a report commissioned at the request of their legal team later revealed that she was conscious and had lived for over an hour after the explosion.

“Could she have survived? Couldn’t she? said Lisa. “If she could have survived, then you think about the care she received or lack thereof. So that throws you into turmoil and I know if she had that chance she would still be here, really.

Andrew added: “It’s hard to find out exactly what happened because you don’t want anyone to suffer, let alone your child.

“It makes you very angry and very upset to know that this little girl did everything she could to keep going and the system let her down, and I want to get to the bottom of it.”

Manchester Arena attack: Saffie’s story airs tonight at 8 p.m. on BBC One.

Last year, Paul Hett, the father of 29-year-old victim Martyn, said the attack “should have been prevented” and claimed those who lost their lives had “failed on every level”.

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