Hundreds of mourners paid emotional tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack, exactly one week after Salman Abedi wrought death and destruction on the city.
People of all ages stood alongside each other in quiet contemplation shortly after 10.30pm, at St Ann’s Square, the site that has become the unofficial memorial site for the 22 people killed and more than 100 injured in last Monday’s Manchester Arena blast.
The vigil, illuminated by the gentle light from hundreds of tea candles, was a moment of quiet reflection for a city united in grief.
It came as anti-terror police appealed for information about a blue suitcase Abedi was carrying on the day of the deadly Manchester bombing.
Irina Tomic, 17, from Warrington, said: “A few of my friends went to this concert and I’ve always liked to go to gigs, so this tragedy really hit home to me.
“I wanted to come here to pay my respects. It feels like everyone has come together. I’m not too bothered about the rain, I’m mostly thinking about those who have passed away.
“I knew four people who went to the gig, there was a lot of anticipation – for that kind of thing to happen was really awful.”
Manchester resident Julio Villa-Garcia, 35, originally from Spain, said: “I’m here in solidarity – any of us could have been involved in (the tragedy).
“It’s very impressive to see people offering their places, their hotels, free taxi rides back home.
“That’s the beauty of this – if anything good comes out of it, it’s precisely that.
“We cannot surrender and give in to terrorism. We have to keep living. We cannot give up.”