Man is arrested over 1996 IRA lorry bomb that injured 212 and destroyed Manchester city centre
- Lorry packed with explosives blew up in centre of Manchester in June 1996
- Nobody killed but 212 people were injured and £700million damage caused
- A man has been arrested last night at Birmingham Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences
A man has been arrested in connection with the 1996 bombing in Manchester City Centre.
Nobody was killed but 212 people were injured and £700million in damage caused after an explosive device was detonated close to Marks & Spencer and the Arndale shopping centre.
Footage previously released showed the heart-stopping bravery of two police officers who ushered shoppers to safety moments before an IRA lorry bomb ripped through Manchester city centre.
A man has been arrested last night at Birmingham Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences and remains in custody where he will be interviewed by officers from Counter Terrorism Policing for the North West (CTPNW).
Detective Superintendent Andrew Meeks, Head of Investigations for Counter Terrorism Policing North West said: ‘Although thankfully no-one was killed during the 1996 Manchester bombing by the IRA, hundreds of people were left with injuries – many of which were life changing – and many more across Greater Manchester and the North West were affected by what happened on that day.
Blast: Footage of shoppers being ushered to safety moments before an IRA lorry bomb exploded in Manchester city centre on June 15, 1996 (pictured)
‘We have always been committed to holding those responsible for the attack to account and bringing them to justice and have been reinvestigating for several years; with a team of dedicated detectives re-examining the original case files and pursuing new lines of inquiry.
‘Following the arrest, we have contacted individuals who were victims of this horrific attack to ensure that they’re updated, as we know for many people this will bring back memories of that terrible day and we are doing all we can to support our communities and those who were affected.
‘Given the passage of time, and the number of people who were affected or injured by this atrocity, we sadly don’t have the contact details for everyone so would encourage anyone who was affected that we haven’t been able to reach to access the Major Incident Portal using this link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/06GMP20S33-PO1.’
Police said they remain determined to hold those responsible for the attack to account regardless of the time passed.
Moved to safety: Just minutes earlier police officers (pictured) had directed children and pensioners away from the vehicle, planted by terrorists and packed with 1.5 tons of explosives, and a bomb squad called in
Danger: Police officers can be seen ushering people away from the lorry in Corporation Street in Manchester
Windows shattered, shards of debris flew through the air and flames erupted skywards as the blast destroyed shops and office buildings within a half-mile radius two decades ago.
Just minutes earlier police had directed children and pensioners away from the vehicle, planted by terrorists and packed with 1.5 tons of explosives, and a bomb squad called in.
A robot approached the lorry but efforts to diffuse the bomb proved in vain as time ran out.
In the CCTV footage, plumes of smoke billow skywards above the city as the camera zooms out to show the scale of devastation.
Lucky: Shoppers, including pensioners and children, were seen on the CCTV footage shortly before the blast
Bomb disposal team: A robot approached the lorry (pictured) but efforts to diffuse the bomb proved in vain
Too late: The bomb squad’s robot was captured on CCTV investigating the lorry moments before the explosion
From above: Video captures the lorry, which was parked close to Marks & Spencer, seconds before the blast
The moment of the explosion has been seen before but the new video captures the officers in action as well as the bomb disposal robot.
The IRA had telephoned warnings about 90 minutes before the blast on Corporation Street in the busy city centre on the morning of Saturday, June 15 1996.
The footage, which was shared on Facebook and attracted 700,000 views in just 48 hours, came after pictures showing the devastating impact the IRA bombing left on the city centre were unearthed.
Huge explosion: Windows shattered, shards of debris flew through the air and flames erupted skywards as the blast tore through Manchester city centre shops and office buildings within a half-mile radius of the lorry
Devastation: Nobody was killed but 212 people were injured and £700million in damage caused after the explosive device was detonated close to Marks & Spencer and the Arndale shopping centre
Terrifying: In the CCTV footage plumes of smoke billow skywards above the city and flames engulf buildings
The images, discovered in an architects office, were found by Duncan Brown, 40, from Oldham.
Some of the photographs, taken three days after the bombing, showed the destroyed Arndale Centre and the Corn Exchange.
Another image showed a Manchester Evening News stall still upstanding, but surrounded by rubble.
Destroyed: The IRA had telephoned warnings about 90 minutes before the blast on Corporation Street in the busy city centre on the morning of Saturday, June 15 1996. The aftermath of the bomb is pictured
Rubble: An aerial shot of the shopping centre shows the damage done after the bomb was detonated in 1996
Ruins: Shattered glass, rubble and debris can be seen strewn across streets (pictured left), including destroyed buildings such as the Lunn Poly travel shop, JD Sports and Marks & Spencer (right)
Around £700million in damage was caused when the bomb tore through buildings within a half-mile radius
Shattered glass, rubble and debris can be seen strewn across streets, including destroyed buildings such as the Lunn Poly travel shop and JD Sports.
It is understood the images are the only photographs showing the damage in such detail.
Police today said: ‘Communities Defeat Terrorism, and the help and support we get from the public is a vital part of that. So, we would urge everyone to remain vigilant, and if you do see anything suspicious then please report it, in confidence, to police via the Anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321 or gov.uk/ACT.’
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