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Manchester terror: Northern Ireland student Sarah Harkin missed arena explosion by seconds

By Sue Doherty

A Derry student working at Manchester Arena walked through the foyer just seconds before a suicide bomber detonated his device, killing 22 and injuring scores of concert goers on Monday night.

Sarah Harkin rang her parents who tried to help her as best they could, even as the enormity of the horror unfolded.

Her father Hugh, who is assistant manager at Derry FC, told the BBC of his shock and fear for Sarah.

"She was leaving," he explained. "She had just crossed over the foyer and 30 seconds later she heard a massive explosion.

"Everybody was running and you could hear from the phone what she was describing- pandemonium.

"People were screaming and she was in an awful state."

Fearing that Sarah was still in danger, the family did what they could to help her.

"We just tried to calm her down, " Hugh recalled.

"We were just telling her to keep moving, move as far away from it as you can.

"She was really screaming!!

Mr Harkin said it was "the most distressing" night of their lives.

He said the family's thoughts go out to those who have been affected by the horrific attack.

 "You can only imagine what the people that have lost loved ones and that have loved ones that are critically ill and are at their bedsides are going through at the minute.

"We have to hope and pray that things go well for them."

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