The actions of former fire chief Peter O’Reilly on the night of the Manchester Arena bombing were being investigated today in the ongoing public investigation into the 2017 atrocities.
Mr O’Reilly was the Chief Fire Officer-CFO at the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
He resigned from the service in 2018 after a career review of terrorist attack preparations, and emergency services response.
The GMFRS was heavily criticized.
It took staff more than two hours to get to the field.
Officers and staff responsible for the ‘command and control’ of emergency resource acquisition are currently providing evidence in this part of the inquiry.
The attack killed 22 people and injured hundreds.
Suicide bomber Salman Abidi blew up a device in a bag at 10.31pm as people attending a concert were leaving the Ariana Grand Timk venue.
Abidi’s brother, Hashim Abidi, has been behind bars for at least 55 years for his role in helping his brother prepare for the attack.
In total, the inquiry is investigating the circumstances that led to the death of 22 people in the blast.
The inquiry said that amid false reports of firing and a ‘dynamic shooter’ police, Operation Plato was announced, a controversial response to the terrorist firearms attack, but the force failed to notify the fire service and ambulance service.
He could not be reached for comment by the police force’s duty officer, who made the announcement, and the firefighters were rescued.
Firefighters, hearing of the inquiry, expressed shock and anger at his late deployment, and turned their backs on the commander, saying he had tried to have a discussion as a result.
Staff were initially sent to a station three miles from the arena and then to Manchester Central Station, where they waited, less than a mile from the scene, when the ambulance crew used the station as a base. He kept going back and forth to help the victims.
Manchester Evening News will provide live updates below.