Manchester terror attack: Residents welcome the stranded in hour of crisis with food, accommodation

Stories of random acts of kindness are emerging in the wake of the Manchester terror attack, with many people and Sikh temples offering free food and rooms for the night.

As hundreds of people fled Manchester arena following the explosion, taxi drivers began taking people to safety.

Driver AJ Singh said he tried to help wherever he could. "I've had people who needed to find loved ones. I've dropped them off at the hospital. They've not had any money, they've been stranded," he told Channel 4 News.

"We should come out and show whoever's done this that it doesn't matter because Manchester, we're glue and we stick together when it counts," he added.

Manchester, a heavily industrialised city, some 260 kilometres from London, is home to a significant number of people from South Asia.

Sam Arshad, from StreetCars Manchester, asked his drivers to give free rides to anyone stranded after the Ariana Grande concert.

"The audience was a very young audience, and there were a lot of people there without their parents," he told the BBC. He said that there were other stories of cab drivers driving over from Liverpool to try and offer people free lifts back home.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, whose two daughters and two nieces were at the concert, praised the "spontaneous acts of ordinary people" of Manchester following last night's attack at a concert in the city.

"And it's then that people were requesting taxis but they didn't have money, " he said.

"It was at that point that I made the decision that money isn't everything in life and we're part of Manchester and we need to do our part to make sure these people get home safe and sound," Rotheram said.

Meanwhile, transportation was an issue as trains near the arena were cancelled. Victoria Station, the station nearest to the venue was also evacuated. Because of this, help from locals came as a relief.

Residents came forward and offered shelter as well as pickups to those who needed help. This show of solidarity was praised by others too. "Muslim taxi drivers giving free lifts, Sikh temples giving food and beds, locals giving blood in the morning. Proud to call Manchester home," tweeted Emily Bolton, a local resident.

There is #RoomForManchester

Twitter was used as a platform to co-ordinate rescue efforts. Various initiatives were taken by locals to try and reach out to those stranded in and around Manchester. #RoomforManchester was widely used to offer temporary accommodation. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester also tweeted out asking people to reach out for help using the hashtag.

At least 22 people were killed and 59 others injured when a lone suicide bomber set off a bomb at the Manchester Arena after US pop star Ariana Grande concluded her concert last night.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: May 23, 2017 21:03 PM

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