Dutch dad, daughter at Manchester Bombing "tried to stay as calm as possible"
Maarten Smit from Zeist and his 14-year-old daughter Jasmin were at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday, where 22 people were killed in an explosion. They escaped unharmed. "Everyone was hysterical. You drive each other mad with panic. I tried to stay as calm as possible. Because you don't want to do that to your daughter", he said to RTL Nieuws.
Maarten and Jasmin had good seats in the Manchester Arena, close to the podium. Just after the show was over, things went wrong. "Suddenly there was a loud bang. We did not know yet that it was an explosive, we thougt it was a balloon that popped." Hysteria broke out and there was a lot of screaming and yelling. "We stayed calm. I grabbed my daughter and said: we should leave as soon as possible."
Leaving was not easy. "We did not want to end up trampled." But Maarten and his daughter managed to get out via a side entrance. They saw police and helicopters and smoke outside. They walked away unnoticed, and took a train home.
"At home we saw that it was an explosion. We first thought it was a fire." he said. Both Maarten and his daughter are doing well. "My daughter is staying calm. But she is very angry about what happened, that there are people who would do this."