Thousands take part in emotional balloon releases to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford in South Shields

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Thousands of people have taken part in emotional balloon releases in tribute to Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford.

The couple, aged 19 and 17, were among the 22 killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack on Monday night.

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Almost 1,000 people gathered on The Leas near the Bamburgh pub in South Shields this evening to remember the couple, and stand in solidarity with their families and the loved ones of other victims.

Among the crowds were members of Lumsdale Theatre Arts, past and present, where Chloe was a pupil.

Former dance school pupil Susan Hewson said: "Most of us have known Chloe since she was two years old, I've danced with her mam and my daughter has danced with Chloe.

"Chloe was such a beautiful girl and did not deserve this, my heart breaks for Lisa and her family.

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

"At first the balloon release was to be a private thing for the dance family but it soon escalated. The turn out has been amazing."

Rose Thompson, whose daughters and granddaughters attended Lumsdale Theatre Arts, said: "It's nice to see the old faces standing side by side with the new faces from the school.

"Chloe was one of our own and what has happened has devastated us all. "Hopefully, it'll mean a lot to the family knowing how many of her dancers and their families past and present have come out to pay their respects."

Another balloon release also took place at the New Mill pub in Biddick Hall, close to where Chloe lived.

Chloe and Liam

Chloe and Liam

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Balloon release on The Leas to remember Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford

Emotional scenes in Biddick Hall

Emotional scenes in Biddick Hall

Emotional scenes in Biddick Hall

Emotional scenes in Biddick Hall