They took a wrong turn – and it saved their lives.
Three York sisters have spoken for the first time about their lucky escape on the night of the Manchester Arena bombing.
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Emma Turner, Sally Tutill and Beth Ramsay talked about their experience days after the first anniversary of the atrocity, which killed 22 people.
They are running the York 10K to raise money to help support the family of Angelika and Marcin Klis from York who were among the victims.
‘We heard a deep bang’
Emma, Sally and Beth are regular gig goers and had enjoyed the Ariana Grande concert.
Beth told Minster FM: “We’d left slightly early, which would have put us right in the blast if we’d have turned right, but fortunately for us we took a wrong turning and went left and were just exiting the building when the explosion went off.”
“We heard a deep bang,” said Emma. “And shortly afterwards we could smell something we could tell was chemically – a smell I can still remember now.
“It was the smell that made it more obvious that it was some form of explosion. And the stillness after it…
“I still had the optimistic side in my mind thinking, ‘it might not have been’. But my sisters were saying, ‘it is…’
“I was trying to keep calm, and I think I was trying to talk them into keeping calm.”
‘Things we’ll never unsee’
“We like to thank our lucky stars that we’re still here and that we were lucky enough to make a mistake and go out of the wrong door, said Beth.
“But we know other people that weren’t. And we saw a lot of things that we’ll never unsee.”
Emma recalled “the sheer panic of everybody that were running round, people shouting and screaming for their parents, and parents screaming for their kids.”
Beth said the terrible night stayed with them. “We did all look out for one another. Afterwards, for quite a few days, we couldn’t leave one another’s sides either.
“We stayed together. The shock hit us the following day, and we needed to all be together.”
“It’s made us all quite nervy. And it’s probably got easier over the days. But as it’s approached again, it brings it back again.
“We’ve all had a few weepy moments in the past few days just remembering things.”
Emma said she feels strongly for the girls who lost their parents that night. “We’re just so grateful we’re still here.
“We go to loads of concerts and I can’t imagine going to a concert without my sisters and I just really feel for the girls.”