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Manchester Bomb – Ten years on

It’s ten years now since an innocent enough looking white van parked on Corporation Street violently exploded, devastating part of Manchester’s city centre.

Published on June 14th 2006.


Manchester Bomb – Ten years on

It’s ten years now since an innocent enough looking white van parked on Corporation Street violently exploded, devastating part of Manchester’s city centre.

The blast, which injured more than 200 people, but thanks to the police evacuation procedure didn’t take any lives, could be heard from miles around when it ripped through the city at 11.20am as shoppers enjoyed the sunshine.

Fingers have been pointed at the IRA, who had killed two children in the Warrington bomb a few years earlier. Now though, ten years on, police have concluded that there is no possibility of discovering the true identity of the Manchester bombers.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said: "The Manchester bomb had a tremendous impact on the lives of people in the area, which is why we have thoroughly reviewed the case. A team of officers from GMP's Anti-Terrorist Unit carried out a detailed analysis ahead of the 10th anniversary of the incident.

"In consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, we have concluded that at this time there is no realistic possibility of a prosecution.

Any speculation about individuals alleged to be linked to the incident is unhelpful as there is insufficient evidence to substantiate charges."

In the last ten years Manchester city centre has been pumped with cash and redeveloped beyond all recognition, leading to people now regarding the bomb as, in general, a good thing for the city. It can be all too easy to forget however, that while nobody was killed, many people’s lives have been deeply affected by the incidents of June 15th 1996 – including hotel concierge Julian Sorfleet. Click here to read his story.

A new exhibition will be opening at Urbis today that remembers the moments after the bomb exploded. Every Cloud: Manchester Ten Years After the Bomb will recreate the huge dust-cloud described at the time by eye-witnesses, made with 80,000 pieces of paper by local schoolchildren. It will feature new interviews with local people who remember the moments after the explosion, as well as footage from the past. The exhibition runs from 15 June to December. For more information on Urbis, click here.

There will also be a service at Manchester Cathedral today, 15th June at 11am. Clerics hope that the service will provide a focal point as the city unites to remember the events of ten years ago.

Jayne Robinson
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