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Inquests into the 22 Arena victims open; MEGAN'S PARENTS PAY TRIBUTE TO BLAST VICTIM.

Byline: JOE THOMAS Crime Reporter joe.thomas@trinitymirror.com @joe_thomas18

SUICIDE bomber Salman Abedi carried an improvised explosive device "designed to kill and maim indiscriminately the largest number of innocent people" when he attacked concertgoers at the Manchester Arena.

His rucksack contained a "massive number" of small metal objects which "flew through the air at high velocity in all directions" when detonated, Manchester Civil Justice Centre heard. The details came yesterday as the senior coroner for Manchester, Nigel Meadows, opened inquest hearings into the victims of the attack.

Twenty-two people, including "caring and beautiful" Halewood teen Megan Hurley, died in last month's horrific attack after a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande.

None of the families of the victims attended the short hearing, which began with a minute's silence for the victims, bereaved, injured and those affected by the bombing on May 22 and also the London Bridge atrocity.

A photo of each of the victims was shown on a screen along with their dates of birth and a map which pinpointed Abedi, 22, in the middle of the large foyer area of the arena and where each person was when he detonated the device. The nearest victim was just five yards from Abedi, while the furthest away was 20yds. Nineteen of the The device, was designed and maim number of people Det Supt Jonathan concert-goers died at the scene while three were rushed to hospital, but pronounced dead shortly afterwards, the inquests were told.

Det Supt Jonathan Chadwick, the senior identification manager for the incident, told the hearing: "At 10.31pm on May 22, 2017 a man subsequently identified as Salman Ramadan Abedi detected an improvised explosive device in the Manchester Arena in Manchester city centre.

"The device had been contained in a rucksack he was carrying on his back.

"It appears it was designed to kill and maim indiscriminately the largest number of innocent people."

The hearings were adjourned until the completion of the police investigation into the attack.

Among the victims was Megan, 15, who was described as fun-loving and sincere in a touching tribute by her family. The Halewood Academy pupil's parents, Michael and Joanne, released a heartbreaking tribute through Greater Manchester Police on behalf of all those who knew and loved her. It said: "Cruelly taken from us on a night she had waited so long for. No words can describe how we feel right now, other than our hearts are broken and our lives are shattered. Goodnight. God bless, Beauty Queen."

The victims also included off-duty Cheshire police officer Elaine McIver, and eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who went to school in Tarleton, near Southport. An inquest into Abedi's death will be opened at a later date.

it appears, to kill the largest innocent Chadwick

The device, it appears, was designed to kill and maim the largest number of innocent people Det Supt Jonathan Chadwick

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People observe a minute's silence in St Ann's Square, Manchester

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2017
Words:494
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