'Inseperable' couple Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford died side by side, inquiry into Manchester Arena bombing told

Two “inseparable” teenage sweethearts died side by side in the Manchester Arena bombing, a public inquiry has heard.
Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford.Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford.
Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford.

Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, both from South Shields, were “beautiful young people” who had already mapped out their lives together, the inquiry heard.

Both were killed when Salman Abedi detonated his home-made backpack bomb in the foyer of Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

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The couple were crossing the City Room foyer of the arena when they were hit by the blast.

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As the smoke cleared, CCTV captured the couple side by side with no apparent sign of life, the hearing in Manchester was told.

Sir John Saunders, the chairman of the inquiry, said: “Chloe and Liam’s relationship was very special.

“After a short period of time together their greatest wish was that they would never be separated. They weren’t.

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“But that doesn’t make it any easier for the families and friends.”

Mr Curry’s mother Caroline and Miss Rutherford’s parents, Lisa and Mark, were present to hear the evidence at the hearing on Tuesday.

Mr Curry, who planned to join the police service, was studying sports science at Northumbria University to be close to Chloe, who was studying music and performance at Newcastle College and doing an apprenticeship in the travel industry.

Minutes after the bombing, which killed 22 and left hundreds injured, TravelSafe officer Philip Clegg leaned over and spoke to both but received no response.

A member of the public, Gareth Chapman, then placed T-shirts from the merchandise stall over them.

Medical evidence from pathology and post-mortem reports concluded in both cases their injuries would have rendered them unconscious and death would have followed quickly.

Both died from multiple injuries that were not survivable even with immediate medical attention, expert evidence concluded.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday morning.