United Kingdom

Schoolgirl walked out moments after encore into path of Manchester Arena bomber

Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, from Bury, was just five metres away from the suicide bomber when he detonated his device

Manchester bombing victim Olivia Campbell-Hardy

A schoolgirl who was “always making people laugh” was just five metres away from the Manchester Arena suicide bomber when he detonated his device, an inquiry has heard.

Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, from Bury, left the concert hall after Ariana Grande had performed her encore and walked into the foyer toward the bomber.

Nine seconds later, Salman Abedi detonated his device. She was seen lying motionless on the ground by CCTV, the public inquiry into the bombing heard.

Olivia, known as Ollie or Liv, died from “unsurvivable” head and neck injuries and was one of the 22 people who died in the May 2017 attack, reports the Manchester Evening News.

She had attended the concert with her friend and around 9pm, had excitedly called her mother to say Ms Grande was about to come on stage.



Olivia was a “hugely promising singer” for whom singing was “her life”




Following the end of the concert, Olivia entered the City Room at 10.30pm just seconds before the bomb went off, the inquiry heard.

She was approximately five metres from Abedi at the moment of detonation. Footage showed her body did not move during the period after the bomb went off.

A paramedic confirmed in a statement to the inquiry that he had placed a label on Olivia to identify that she was deceased.



CCTV image of Salman Abedi at Victoria Station making his way to the Manchester Arena, on May 22, 2017




A post-mortem examination concluded that Olivia had died of head and neck injuries while a panel of experts appointed by the inquiry said her injuries were “unsurvivable”.

Pathologists agreed that her death would have been “very rapid”, adding that it was likely that her injuries would have resulted in “immediate loss of consciousness”.

Her mother, Charlotte Hodgson, told the inquiry that Olivia was “a beautiful young girl who packed so much in her 15 years”, who loved sports, singing and make-up.



Olivia’s mother: “She didn’t come into a room – she would make an entrance.”




She said of her daughter: “She didn’t come into a room – she would make an entrance.

“She was always making people laugh and anything she did she could make it fun”.

Olivia was a “hugely promising singer” for whom singing was “her life” and had previously auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent.

In a statement from her father, Andrew Hardy, which was read out at the inquiry, he said Olivia loved spending time with her family and holidays, adding: “She was very much loved by all.”







Her grandfather, Steve Goodman, told the inquiry Olivia was known for singing at family gatherings.

Describing her as “loud and boisterous”, he said she was also “caring” and would always “fight for the underdog”.

To her grandparents, “she was a joy”, he added.

The chairman of the inquiry, Sir John Saunders, said: “Believe it or not there are times when even lawyers are lost for words and this is one of them. Can I just say, what a talent, what a waste and what a lovely person.”


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