A mother told how she heard an enormous explosion and her world was “torn apart” as her teenage daughter died in the Manchester Arena bombing, the public inquiry into the terror attack heard.
Marion MacLeod had arrived outside the arena to collect her daughter Eilidh, 14, and her friend who had been to the Ariana Grande concert.
Mrs MacLeod, from the island of Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, had travelled south with her daughter, a music lover and bagpipe player, staying over in a hotel in Manchester close to the Arena.
Her daughter, the middle one of three sisters, was “beyond excited” to be attending the event, Mrs MacLeod said in a statement read to the inquiry, the pair using Facetime and swapping messages during the show.
Mrs MacLeod said: “She was loving life and I told her to sing her heart out and dance the night away.
“I told that I would be there to collect her later and that I loved her.”
Later she went to meet her daughter and her friend when the show was due to finish.
She added: “As I left our hotel I messaged Eilidh asking if the concert was over and she messaged back saying it was the last song.
“It was 10.29pm.
“I was just about at the corner across the road from the Arena where I told Eilidh I would be waiting for them when I heard an enormous explosion.
“The ground shook and that was when our whole world was torn apart.”
Eilidh entered the City Room, the foyer to the Arena, at 10.30pm at the end of the show.
Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device, packed with thousands of nuts a minute later with Eilidh standing just four metres away.
Footage from the City Room minutes later showed Eilidh, who attended Castlebay Community School, lying on her right hand side and not moving and by 10.51pm she had been covered with clothing.
At 23.45pm a label was placed on her by a paramedic to identify her as deceased.
A post-mortem examination and reports from bomb blast wave experts and pathology reports all concluded Eilidh’s injuries were not survivable.
Sir John Saunders, chairman of the inquiry said: “Eilidh lived on the beautiful island of Barra and the beauty of the surroundings where she was brought up shone out in her personality.
“She enriched the lives of many.”
The inquiry, sitting in Manchester, is look at how and in what circumstances each of the 22 victims died on May 22 2017, and to probe whether any inadequacies in the emergency response contributed to individual deaths and/or if they could have been prevented.
Demand for petrol should return to normal levels in “the coming days”, the fuel industry has said as ministers again appealed to motorists to stop “panic buying”.
In a joint statement, leading suppliers, including BP, Esso and Shell, said that with many cars now carrying more petrol than usual, pressure on filling stations should start to ease.
Earlier Boris Johnson drew back from implementing plans to send in troops to deliver fuel to the forecourts as Downing Street insisted there were “ample” supplies.
In their joint statement, issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the industry urged drivers to return to normal buying patterns.
“There is plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are working closely with the Government to help ensure fuel is available to be delivered to stations across the country,” it said.
“As many cars are now holding more fuel than usual, we expect that demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, easing pressures on fuel station forecourts.
“We would encourage everyone to buy fuel as they usually would.”
A mother has told an inquiry that her daughter’s life-saving cancer treatment had to be terminated early after she contracted a hospital-acquired infection, which she is still fighting three years on.
The young patient was being treated for leukaemia at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) when she started developing painful lumps and lesions on her body in 2019.
She had been first diagnosed with cancer in 2014 when she was nine years old.
The Scottish Hospital Inquiry heard test results showed the patient had developed mycobacterium chelonae – a rare infection – that likely came from a water supply in one of the hospital’s operating theatres.
Her life-saving chemotherapy had to be finished early due to needing an immediate course of treatment for the hospital-acquired infection, an inquiry heard.
QEUH and Royal Children’s Hospital in Glasgow are currently at the centre of an investigation over issues at the flagship Glasgow hospitals which have been linked to the deaths of two children.
It was ordered after patients at the Glasgow hospital died from infections linked to pigeon droppings and the water supply.
A hearing on Monday heard the patient caught the infection when she had her line – a catheter used to give chemotherapy treatment – removed during surgery in February 2019.
Three years on, the mother said her daughter is still suffering with the infection, which she claims doctors said could take up to five years to fight off.
Speaking at the inquiry in person, the patient’s mum spoke about an independent case note review that looked into how her daughter contracted the infection.
She said: “The panel found that it was very highly probable that the mycobacterium infection came from the water supply in the operating theatre in the RHC.
“It concluded that the infection has had a severe impact on my daughter’s life, and it is continuing to have a severe impact on her life.”
She told the inquiry she was aware about water issues in Ward 2A of the RCH, but was told “umpteen times” that other areas of the hospital were safe.
She said: “When you’re faced with something (the infection) that’s very rare and told that the doctors don’t actually know if they can fight the infection and it’s caused by a hospital that should be safe and there to protect some of the sickest children in Scotland is horrendous.
“To find out the hospital has inflicted more pain and could have taken our child’s life is devastating.”
The patient’s mother also pointed to issues with Ward 6 in the adult hospital where her daughter was moved to after rooms at the children’s hospital were closed due to water contamination issues.
She said part of the roof at the adult hospital “blew off” and windows “fell out” of their frames.
The mum added she saw sewage bursting through tiles in one of the hospital’s corridors.
Alastair Duncan QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked how she felt about her daughter contracting an infection which prevented her from receiving her chemotherapy to fight off cancer to which she replied: “I actually can’t put into words how I feel about that.
“I am devastated and angry.”
In a closing statement, she said: “I don’t feel safe in the hospital, and I know for a fact that my daughter certainly doesn’t feel safe.
“It is not just the infections, I don’t even feel the actual building is safe. I don’t feel that the structure of the building is safe.
“I don’t feel that the health board has got the kids’ best interests, or their care is at the centre of it.”
Earlier this year, an independent review found the deaths of two children at the QEUH campus were at least in part the result of infections linked to the hospital environment.
The review investigated 118 episodes of serious bacterial infection in 84 children and young people who received treatment for blood disease, cancer or related conditions at the Royal Hospital for Children at the campus.
It found a third of these infections were “most likely” to have been linked to the hospital environment.
Two of 22 deaths were “at least in part” the result of their infection, it said.
The inquiry in Edinburgh, chaired by Lord Brodie, continues.
Health boards are due to give their evidence at a later stage.
Hotel guests taken to hospital after evacuation over chlorine smell
Emergency services attended the Inchyra Hotel due to concerns over strong smell of chlorine from swimming pool.
Seven people were taken to hospital after a luxury hotel was evacuated due to reports of a strong smell of chlorine coming from the building’s swimming pool.
Emergency services attended the Inchyra Hotel in Grangemouth when the alarm was raised at 7.30pm on Sunday.
Guests and staff were told to leave the building while the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) investigated.
Police said on Monday the incident was caused by “chemicals being used in the spa area”.
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call at 19.34hrs to attend an incident at Inchyra Grange Hotel in Polmont.
“We dispatched several resources to the scene and seven patients were transported to hospital.”
NHS Forth Valley said a small number of guests were taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Sunday night for assessment and all have been discharged.
A spokesperson for the hotel’s operator Macdonald Hotels said: “Following reports of a stronger than normal smell of chlorine from the swimming pool at the Inchyra Hotel in Grangemouth, guests were initially evacuated to the car park, then accommodated in another wing of the hotel as a precaution whilst the fire brigade carried out investigations into the cause.”
SFRS sent two appliances and a specialist detection, identification and monitoring unit to the scene.
An SFRS spokesman said: “We were called at 7.30pm on Sunday to assist as part of a multi-agency response to an incident at a hotel on Grange Road.
“Operations control sent two appliances and specialist resources to the scene.”
Firefighters left the scene at about 11pm.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 7.40pm on Sunday, 26 September, officers were called to assist at a hotel in Grange Road, Grangemouth, following a report of a chemical leak. Following a multi-agency response it was discovered that the incident was a result of chemicals being used in the spa area.
“A number of people were evacuated from the hotel as a precaution, but later returned.”
Police also confirmed some guests were taken to hospital, while others were examined by the Scottish Ambulance Service on site.
Healthcare staff and other key workers should have priority access to fuel amid supply issues, leading unions have warned.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.
Unison called on ministers to use emergency powers to “designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers”.
And the Royal College of Nursing warned that the fuel supply problems could see patient care compromised as it backed calls for health and care workers to be prioritised.
It comes amid reports of doctors being unable to get to work due to the fuel crisis.
Campaign group EveryDoctor said that at least one NHS organisation held an emergency meeting after staff were unable to attend.
A hospital consultant in Bedfordshire told the organisation, which represents 1,700 doctors: “We had an emergency discussion this morning. Two consultants in our department are out and can’t get to work. Two others on reserve. All four petrol stations within four miles of our hospital are closed with no fuel.”
But the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) insisted that deliveries of essential medication were continuing as usual to pharmacies as it encouraged patients to collect prescriptions in their usual way.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of council at the BMA, said: “Emergency and essential workers rely on fuel both to travel to work and for their work itself – whether this is to get to hospitals, practices and other healthcare settings, or for ambulances to reach people in urgent need of care and GPs to visit very ill patients at home.
“Everyone will have their own reasons for needing to fill up, but as pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it.
“While the Government has said it is putting plans in place to alleviate the shortage of HGV drivers to transport fuel, the results of this won’t be immediate.
“Healthcare and essential workers must therefore be given priority access to fuel so they can continue their crucial work and guarantee care to patients.”
Unison’s general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Government has to take control. It’s no good ministers wasting time on a pointless blame game or pretending there’s no problem.
“Essential staff must be able to get to their jobs so they can continue to provide the services so many rely upon.
“Ambulance crews, nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, police staff and other key workers mustn’t be left stranded or forced to queue for hours simply to get to a pump.
“The Government could solve this problem now by using emergency powers to designate fuel stations for the sole use of key workers.”
Patricia Marquis, director for England at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Nursing staff do valuable work, often travelling long distances to get to work or see their patients in the community.
“Health and care services, already struggling with widespread staffing shortages, cannot afford to lose any more staff because they’re unable to travel.
“We already know some nursing staff are warning their employers they may not be able to attend tomorrow to ensure shifts can be safely staffed.
“In light of these supply problems, health and care workers need to be a priority or patient care will be compromised.”
Dr Julia Grace Patterson, chief executive of the group which has 1,700 members, said: “Doctors and other healthcare workers cannot care for patients if they cannot get to work.
“I am hearing from many today who have spent the weekend unsuccessfully trying to find petrol.
“Our Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been critical of telephone consultations recently – he clearly believes face-to-face appointments are necessary.
“We therefore need to know urgently what the Government’s plan is to ensure that all NHS staff can reach their workplaces safely during this fuel crisis.
“Doctors are desperately concerned about patients and the Government must take responsibility and find a solution.”
Professor Claire Anderson, president of the society, said: “Pharmacies are still getting deliveries of medicines and people should order and collect their prescription in the usual way.
“As normal, pharmacists are working with patients to ensure they get the medicines they need. We’re not aware that the problems with fuel supplies are stopping patients getting their medicines.
“If you have any concerns then please speak to your local pharmacist and their team, who will be able to help and reassure you.”
Appointment letters inviting children aged between 12 and 15 for a coronavirus vaccine will be dropping through letterboxes this week.
Drop-in clinics have been available to this age group for the last week and now scheduled appointments, starting this week, are being issued to all those eligible.
Children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Parents and carers are being encouraged to accompany their children to community-based appointments where possible so they can discuss any questions they have with staff at the site.
The appointment letters, which will be arriving from Monday, contain an information leaflet, which all parents and carers are urged to read with their children so they can make an informed decision about getting the vaccine.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 marks a significant milestone in the vaccination programme.
“It has been demonstrated that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective in this age group, and vaccination offers the best chance of protecting young people from Covid-19 and preventing further disruption to education. Many countries around the world have already been safely vaccinating children and young people in this age group.
“Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is a decision to be made jointly between parents or carers and their children, but it’s really important to use reliable and trusted sources such as NHS Inform when making a decision and assessing the potential benefits, risks and side effects.
“Individual choice should be respected for the decisions young people and their parents or carers make in accepting, or not accepting the vaccine offer.
“Where possible, parents or carers are welcome to attend appointments with their children and both can ask questions about any queries they have before the vaccination is given.
“I would like to thank all of the vaccinators and vaccine site staff who have worked so hard to get us to this stage of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.”
In some rural areas, 12 to 15-year-olds will be offered the jabs through their school vaccination programme instead of a community setting and they will receive letters and leaflets home from school.
Anas Sarwar has insisted that the SNP and Conservatives should not be allowed to “define Englishness”.
The Scottish Labour leader made the remarks as he addressed the Labour party conference in Brighton.
In a speech on Monday afternoon, Sarwar also set out his desire to see Labour in power at Holyrood and at Westminster.
Outlining the challenges facing his party, he said “We hear a lot about the red wall. The first red wall to fall was Scotland and unless we rebuild there we won’t get a UK Labour Government.
“But to do that we need to present a different, more positive vision of Scotland and Britain. One that is outward looking, diverse and tolerant.”
He continued: “Don’t allow the SNP and the Tories to define Englishness. England isn’t Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and Nigel Farage. England is Marcus Rashford, Gareth Southgate and Emma Raducanu.
“And don’t believe that the political values of Scotland are those of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP – of division and grievance. The values which drive Scotland – Hope, opportunity, solidarity. Our values. Labour values.”
Sarwar said that “winning matters” as he pointed to the work of Labour leaders in power across the UK.
He told the conference: “Now of course we must oppose these two governments. But it is not enough to just oppose this Tory government, I want us to replace this Tory government.
“And it is not enough to just oppose the SNP government, I want us to replace this SNP government.
“We have heard from this stage this afternoon the difference Labour makes in power.
“Tracey Brabin, Sadiq Khan, Mark Drakeford, Andy Burnham. Labour leaders not just talking Labour values. Delivering Labour values in power. And that’s why winning matters.”
The Scottish Labour MSP also set out his party’s plans for an Energy Transition Commission ahead of the UN climate conference in Glasgow.
“In November, the eyes of the world will be on my home city of Glasgow for COP26. We want the world to see a country united in the fight against climate change,” he told Labour members.
“But as Labour, we must be clear – There is no just transition if it decimates entire communities and sacrifices tens of thousands of jobs.
“We can’t allow a repeat of the end of mining, where communities were hollowed out, workers were stripped of their dignity and our industrial base was destroyed.
“That is the path that the SNP and the Tories currently have us on. The only way to avoid that injustice is to demand a Jobs First Transition.
“That is why today I am announcing an Energy Transition Commission – led by former energy minister Brian Wilson, to help create a greener, fairer and more prosperous future.
The family of a man who helped save lives following his sudden death has spoken of the importance of sharing organ donation wishes with loved ones.
Builder Gavin Wilson, 55, died unexpectedly in December 2020.
He went on to become an organ donor, saving the lives of four people.
His wife, Gillian, told STV News she’s “incredibly proud” of her late husband.
Speaking during Organ and Tissue Donation Week, Mrs Wilson said: “We wanted to support organ donation week really because I’d always been passionate and up for organ donation, but after experiencing it from a family’s point of view and what it’s actually given us back as a family has been incredible, and I want everyone to know the positive side of it.
“Also, I’m incredibly proud of my husband and I want everyone to know that as well, what he had actually done.”
When Mr Wilson went to work that fateful day, he was said to be “fit and healthy”. But then his family received the devastating call.
Despite initially being able to breathe by himself after being placed into an induced coma, doctors later told the family that there wasn’t any brain activity.
Mrs Wilson said the West Kilbride family had always spoken openly about organ donation and knew “all we had to do was fulfil his wishes by saying yes”.
Praising the care received from Crosshouse Hospital, Mrs Wilson said: “From something so sudden and tragic, we were taken on a journey with the donor process.
“From when we said yes, it was a very precious and special time for us all.
“We got to spend time with my husband, Gavin, and we weren’t rushed in any way and we were able to spend lots of time with him.
“And even after that, on a daily basis we know that he saved four people’s lives, and there’s not many people can say that.
“And it’s four people’s lives and four families with hope and a future, and it doesn’t make everything okay but it certainly gives some comfort and some solace to a really tragic situation.”
Mrs Wilson, who received the Order of St John UK Award for Organ Donation on behalf of her late husband, described him as “just perfect”.
She added: “He was so loving and giving.
“He was incredibly generous with his time, with everyone. He’d always be helping somebody all the time, always looking out to help somebody.
“You always found him the same way. He was always happy, a really positive person. He would always see the positive in any situation.”
New figures show more than half of Scots (54%) have now registered their donation decision – 51.5% to be a donor and 2.8% choosing to opt-out.
The opt-out system was introduced on March 26 to save and improve lives.
If Scots aged 16 and over haven’t opted out of donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they are able to donate.
Under the opt-out system everyone has a choice – to be a donor or opt-out of donation – but it’s important to make that decision known.
In Scotland, there are an average of around 500 people currently waiting on an organ transplant, however only around 1% of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible.
Highlighting the importance of sharing your organ donation decision, Mrs Wilson said: “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be in that position and not know what my loved one’s wishes were. I think that would be incredibly difficult.
“And the thought of leaving my loved ones – I wouldn’t want to leave them with doubt. I wouldn’t want them to have regret.
“And in Gavin being very open about what he wanted, we don’t have any doubt, we don’t have any regret, and there’s not one aspect of the whole thing that we would ever regret.
“For the sake of having a conversation, make your wishes known.
“You know that your family – they’re going to be okay with the decision. Because it’s a tough time if you’re in that situation – you’re not thinking straight, it’s not clear and it’s really hard, and I think it would be even harder if you didn’t know what the answer would be.”
Rangers have asked their fans to bring hard copies of their vaccine passport to Ibrox if they want to gain access to games from this weekend.
The club has updated fans with details of what will be required to watch the Premiership game against Hibs on Sunday, two days after Scottish Government legislation is introduced requiring vaccine certification for all large events.
The measures, designed to halt the spread of Covid-19, mean that anyone attending an event with a crowd of more than 10,000 people, will be subject to checks to prove that they are fully vaccinated “with a MHA recognised vaccine in line with the MHA recommended number of doses for the vaccine used, and two weeks have passed for the vaccine to take effect”.
Initial plans to ask for all fans to have their status checked were opposed by the SPFL before agreement was reached for spot checking.
Rangers will be one of the first clubs to be subject to the new rules at their match and have given fans further information.
The club say that they will accept digital copies of vaccination ceretificates but have asked that fans bring a hard copy if they can. Certificates from all parts of the UK will be considered valid.
Rangers said that some groups would be exempt from the rules. Fans under the age of 18 will not have to show proof, nor will workers or volunteers, vaccine trial participants or people who cannot have the vaccine for medical reason and carry a letter to confirm this.
The Premiership club, who thanks fans in advance for their cooperation, also asked that supporters continue to wear face coverings and follow all other rules and guidance.
The new legislation is expected to affect a number of Scottish Premiership teams and will also be in place for international games at Hampden.