Sunderland joins together in tribute to Manchester attack victims

The city of Sunderland came together to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

A vigil was held in the city’s Keel Square tonight, with people laying flowers and candles to remember those who had been killed.

Crowds gathered in Keel Square to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

Crowds gathered in Keel Square to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

The bomb attack took place following an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday night, killing 22 people and injuring many more.

The memorial event was organised by Zaf Iqbal, co-chair of the Sunderland Inter Faith Forum, who was assisted by volunteer Emma Robson, 27.

Hundreds of people came along to the vigil, one of many held across the country in the wake of the attack.

Mr Iqbal said the event brought people together to show that they will not be divided by terrorism and will not live in fear.

Over 100 people turned out to pay their respects.

Over 100 people turned out to pay their respects.

He added: “The aim of the event was not only to remember the dead, but to bring people together from all faiths and backgrounds.

“We are all part of the human race - it doesn’t matter about skin colour or beliefs.

“I am pleased with the turn out as I was not expecting as many people.

“It is all about getting people to come together.”

Those gathered left messages in chalk on the ground along with flowers and candles.

Those gathered left messages in chalk on the ground along with flowers and candles.

During the vigil, various speeches were made, including addresses from Reverend Chris Howson, from Sunderland Minster, Sunderland councillor Lynda Scanlan and Father Marc Lyden-Smith from St Mary’s Catholic Church.

The names of the victims were read out and a violinist performed before everyone joined together in prayer.

Those gathered then held a two-minute silence to remember those who had lost their lives in the attack.

Volunteer Emma said she wanted to get involved to help bring people together.

Photos of the victims were held up to the crowd as their names were read out.

Photos of the victims were held up to the crowd as their names were read out.

She said: “I think it’s important that we all keep supporting each other, so I really wanted to help organise a vigil in Sunderland.

“I didn’t know anyone directly who was at the concert, but a friend of mine is a teacher in South Shields and she knew Chloe Rutherford.”

Five people from the North East were among those who died. They were; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields; Hartlepool born Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51; and Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.

Floral tributes were left in Keel Square.

Floral tributes were left in Keel Square.

Flowers were laid in Keel Square.

Flowers were laid in Keel Square.

Tributes to the victims of the terror attack in Manchester were left in Keel Square.

Tributes to the victims of the terror attack in Manchester were left in Keel Square.