Chesterfield dad tells of panic in trying to find his kids after Manchester attack

Chesterfield dad, David Hopknson, 55. Picture submitted.
Chesterfield dad, David Hopknson, 55. Picture submitted.

A Chesterfield dad has told of the terrifying moment when he could not find his son and daughter in the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack.

David Hopkinson, 55, of Park Road, Chesterfield, was waiting outside the Manchester Arena in his car waiting to collect his son Ryan, 29, and Libby, 17.

“I was sat in my car in the car park which is about 100 yards away when I heard the bang,” he told the Derbyshire Times.

“People were running out of their cars and saying it was a bomb.

“Then somebody said it was a shooter. I was so confused.

“People were panicking and on their phones.

“I could see through the glass panel into the station. I saw people spilling out.”

MORE: Derbyshire school students caught up in Manchester terror attack
Mr Hopkinson had previously dropped Ryan and Libby off at the entrance to where the bomb went off and told them to meet him back in the same place.

“I had told them to come back out of that entrance but thank god they did not,” Mr Hopkinson said.

“I ran across the road to the station and tried to ring Libby but she did not answer her phone.

“In the end she rang me.

“I said ‘are you out of the building yet’. We did not know if there was another bomb.

“She could not tell me where they were so I ran around all the entrances.

“I saw some sights. I went past kids with blood on them. I saw children being sick because of what they had seen.

“I saw one girl being carried with blood all over her. I don’t know if she had any legs. There were three of four people carrying this girl out. There were people holding each other up. There was people with blood on them and it was not theirs.”

MORE: Huge crowds gather in Chesterfield to pay respects to Manchester bomb victims
Mr Hopkinson added: “It felt like it took ages to find them. When I found them I was elated. I kissed them both.

“I’m a widower and I thought I was going to lose my children which it why I was running around trying to find them.

“I lost my wife Gail six years ago and Libby said she must have been looking over us.”

Mr Hopkinson had spent the day in Manchester with his children before he went back to his car at 10pm to wait for them to come out.

He said: “We were just going out for a wonderful today and then it turned into that.”

MORE: Derbyshire student: Children were screaming ‘I’ve lost my mummy’ - Manchester terror attack