Teenager who escaped Manchester Arena bombing celebrates A-Level success

St Wilfrid's RC College A-level results day
Dylan Hastry
St Wilfrid's RC College A-level results day Dylan Hastry

A teenager from South Tyneside has collected the A-Levels he might never have sat - after a narrow escape in the Manchester terror bombing.

Dylan Hastry, 18, was one of the hundreds caught up in the blast at Manchester Arena in May which left 22 people dead.

St Wilfrid's RC College pupil Dylan Hastry finished his A-level's after being caught up in Manchester attack

St Wilfrid's RC College pupil Dylan Hastry finished his A-level's after being caught up in Manchester attack

He had been to see his idol Ariana Grande when the bomb was detonated.

Dylan had been sitting in a block close to where it exploded and says, if he had left the concert a minute earlier, he would have been caught up in the blast.

The effect of that night played heavily on his mind and he says he struggled to get back on track with his life and his exams.

But, with the help of family, friends and staff at St Wilfrid’s RC College, Dylan has gone on to achieve the grades he needed to secure a place at Newcastle University to study sociology.

I didn’t want to waste two years of hard work just to have someone like that ruin my chances of a good future.

Dylan Hastry

Dylan who achieved Bs in Business Studies, History and Theology, said: “I was right in the middle of my revision term when I went to Manchester for the concert.

“I was in the block near the exit where the explosion happened. That was my exit. I keep thinking that, if I had left a minute earlier, I really don’t think I would be here now.

“At the time, I had no idea what was going on, none of us did. Even now you just can’t make sense out of it.”

He added: “I came home and I was in a state of shock and panic. I started to get myself together then the attack in London happened.

“I started to get flashbacks and I started panicking that something was going to happen before my exams started.

“I had already lost a couple of weeks of revision as I couldn’t concentrate on anything, but I knew I needed to somehow pull myself together.”

He added: “I didn’t want to waste two years of hard work just to have someone like that ruin my chances of a good future. I think that was what really made me push myself.”

Dylan, who hopes to become a social worker, added: “It has been hard but I put in the work and the staff have been really good. They push you, for all the right reasons.

“I have been nervous about the results. I have had sleepless nights since Monday. I have tried to stay calm. I really didn’t expect these results but I’m so glad I’ve been able to achieve what I wanted.”