Tributes have poured in after an eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos was killed in the ‘terrorist attack’ at Manchester Arena.
Dozens of floral tributes have been left at The Plaice fish and chip shop in Hough Lane, Leyland which Saffie’s family are believed to run. The restaurant was closed but well wishers have left cards and flowers to the popular youngster.
The eight-year-old was at the concert with her mother Lisa Roussos and Saffie’s sister, Ashlee Bromwich, aged in her 20s, from Leyland, Lancashire, who are both now in separate hospitals being treated for injuries, friends have said.
Saffie was the second victim to be named after Georgina Callander. 18, also from Tarleton, was identified earlier today.
Chris Upton, headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School, spoke of his devastation of the loss. He said: “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends. The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.
“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.
“Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that. We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time."
The news comes after a desperate appeal was made to trace the whereabouts of Saffie. Friends of the family shared an appeal on Facebook in a desperate bid to trace her.
Kate Tinsley, whose daughter Jessica is best friends with Saffie at Tarleton Community Primary School near Preston in Lancashire, said earlier: “I’ve tried to contact Saffie’s mum and none of the messages have gone through on the phone.
“Jessica has gone to school today not knowing a thing. My daughter is best friends with her in school. Everybody is worried, the whole village. Everybody is in bits waiting for news, just some news that she’s okay, she’s alive."
Another family friend posted the Facebook appeal to help the desperate search for the missing school girl.
Earlier she said: “My friend Lisa and her daughters Ashlee and Saffie were at the concert last night. Saffie-Rose, 8 years old is still missing.
“Her mum Lisa and sister Ash are in hospital with shrapnel injuries which are not life threatening but Saffie is still missing."
Hundreds of people are desperately searching for loved ones in the aftermath of a terror attack at Manchester Arena which left 22 dead and at least 59 injured.
Thousands of teenagers were inside the arena for a concert by Ariana Grande on Monday night, and Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins has confirmed children are among those killed.
Facebook has activated its safety check feature so people can let loved ones know they are safe, and an emergency helpline, 0161 856 9400, has been set up for those searching for loved ones.
Two hotels near the arena, the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn, both took in stranded children in the immediate aftermath and looked after them overnight.
Among those searching for children was Charlotte Campbell, who has not heard from her 15-year-old daughter Olivia since the attack.
Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I last had contact with her at half past eight last night.
“She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.
“She was with her friend Adam, Adam was found about half an hour ago, he’s in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet."
Ms Campbell said she had been at home “phoning everybody, hospitals, police, all these centres that the children have been put in".
“Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her.
“I’ve got friends out looking for her, I’ve got people I don’t even know out looking for her."
Around 60 people caught up in the terror attack were reported to have been taken in by Holiday Inn hotels near the arena.
Holiday Inn was unable to confirm the number of people it was helping but said it had supported them throughout the night by offering “immediate refuge".
A spokeswoman said: “The hotel teams at Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre – Arena have both been working closely with the emergency services throughout the night, supporting members of the public who needed immediate refuge.
“The hotels are fully operational and continue to offer support."