Manchester Arena bombing: First victim named as 18-year-old Georgina Callander

Teenager tweeted she was 'so excited' to see Ariana Grande on day before concert

Gabriel Samuels
Tuesday 23 May 2017 13:36 BST
Georgina Callander previously met Ariana Grande backstage at a concert two years ago
Georgina Callander previously met Ariana Grande backstage at a concert two years ago (Instagram/Georgina.Bethany)

An 18-year-old girl, described by her friends as "a living angel", has been named as the first confirmed victim of the terror attack at Manchester Arena.

Georgina Bethany Callander, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, was one of 22 people killed by the blast as she left the Ariana Grande concert at the 21,000-capacity venue.

She was a student at Runshaw College in nearby Leyland, and was on the cusp of finishing the second year of her health and social care course.

The college expressed its "enormous sadness" at the news of her death and said it would be offering counselling to students.

On Saturday, Georgina tweeted that she was "so excited" to see the pop star, who she was previously pictured with two years ago at a concert.

The teenager's friends paid tribute to her, describing her as a "beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul", someone who "lit up the room" and "a ray of sunshine".

She was rushed to hospital and died with her mother at her bedside, according to the the Evening Standard.

Sophie Jauregui, who said she was Georgina's best friend, tweeted: "I hope you rest in peace my darling. I love you so much and will always miss you."

Another friend posted: "Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you."

"She was a living angel, the sweetest person that you ever did meet," Liana Sarfati wrote on Twitter.

A crowdfunding page was set up to help the Callander family with funeral and memorial costs shortly after her death was announced, and raised over £1,000 in less than an hour.

The actor Sean Maguire, who starred in the fantasy show Once Upon a Time, paid tribute to the "young and sweet" teenager he met at a convention last month. "My love to her and all the families of the victims," he tweeted.

Another star of the programme, Karen David, published a message of condolence on her Instagram account, saying she was "so angry that such a young and promising life has been stolen away".

The teenager was said to be a big fan of the show, as well as liking Marvel comics movies and the CW show iZombie. Georgina regularly sought to have photos taken with her favourite stars, which she posted on Instagram and Twitter.

Bishop Rawstorne, Georgina's former school, described her as "a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff and always made the most of the opportunities she had at the school".

A further 59 people were given emergency treatment the attacker detonated an improvised explosive device, shortly after Grande had finished her performance.

Police statement: Children among 22 dead in Manchester terror attack

It is the worst terror attack in the UK since 56 people were killed in the 7 July London bombings in 2005.

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