'Chloe was part of our family' - South Shields travel firm pays tribute to 'friendly, happy' worker killed in Manchester bomb

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The family business who employed Chloe Rutherford have spoken of their immense pain after the teenager's death in the Manchester terror attack.

Chloe, 17, from South Shields, worked part time at Westoe Travel in Westoe Road, South Shields, while studying at Newcastle College, and was due to start full-time in June.

Greater Manchester police confirmed overnight that she and her boyfriend Liam Curry had died in the suicide bomb attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Graeme Brett, owner of Westoe Travel, said: "It is something we will never be able to understand. When you watch these events on television you never expect them to impact on those around you.

"As a small family business, Chloe was part of our family, working part time as she completed her college studies before starting full time with us on June 26 to begin her Travel Apprenticeship."

Mr Brett said the loss of Chloe and Liam at such a young age had been devastating news for everyone at the family-run firm.

He said: "We loved her friendly happy personality and she was a great asset to Westoe Travel, and had a great future ahead in the travel industry which she was really looking forward to.

"Liam would meet her from work and they were a perfect loving couple.

"The families have lost two beautiful young people who were a credit to them and our thoughts and prayers go to both families at this terrible time."

Tony Lewin, principal at Newcastle College. also paid tribute to Chloe.

He said : “We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of Chloe Rutherford. She was a popular student who was studying a music course at the college. Our thoughts are with her family and friends, as well as all those affected in Manchester, at this sad time.”

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