Belfast Telegraph

Manchester attack: Derry man Sean Woods' 'unbearable' wait to learn of daughter's safety

Sean Woods, whose daughter Niamh works at the Manchester Arena, has described his emotions as he learned of the blast on Monday night.

"The second that the newsreader announced that there were fatalities, it just blew my mind," Sean Woods told BBC Radio Foyle.

"I couldn't believe it, how hard it hit me.

"I just kept crying and crying and crying... I couldn't even speak properly, it was unbearable.

"We were just trying frantically to get ahold of her."

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Mr Woods said that his daughter was able to contact the family using a friend's phone on messenger. " It was an unbelievable relief to hear her voice. "

She told him that she was locked in a room with double glass doors, counting the takings from the bar, when the bomb exploded.

"Her words were 'Daddy, I've never heard anything as loud in my whole life,

"Within seconds people were frantically banging on her door, trying to get in, away from the explosion area.

"People that were running past had blood running down their faces and, she said, their clothes drenched in blood.

"For a young girl of 21 to see that, it's quite something.

"I'm going to be honest, I went upstairs and I was bawling like a child.

"She's so badly shaken up. We were up all night, we haven't slept."

While his own daughter is due to fly home today, Mr Woods said his heart "really and truly goes out to anyone who has lost someone because the prospect of losing your own daughter is quite something.

"I've never had that emotion in my life before and I don't ever want to have it again."

Listen to the full interview here.


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