A 48-year-old nursing assistant is being hailed as a hero for leading dozens of children and teenagers to safety after a suicide bomber blew himself up during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 and hospitalizing at least 59.
Paula Robinson was out with her husband celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary when she heard “a really loud bang,” and saw several terrified children frantically leaving the venue, she told NBC News.
“People were just running out and running in every direction,” she said. “There were a lot of children and they were shouting for their dads [who] must have been picking them up.”
In the midst of the chaos after the explosion, Robinson and her husband began using a nearby hotel as a meeting point for kids who were looking for their parents.
She took to Facebook, posting a message to those looking for their loved ones, even including her phone number: “Parents we have taken your children to holiday Inn … please come for them.”
Robinson spoke through tears as she recalled the tragic scene. “I was just shouting to people to make their way there, if you can’t find your mom and dad,” she said.
The woman has received praised for her actions from social media users, but Robinson told NBC she’s no hero.
“I didn’t do it as a hero, please, I feel ridiculous,” she said. “I just did it because that’s what I was doing … I just did it instinctively … I didn’t have a plan.”
The deadly explosion occurred around 10:33 p.m. local time near the ticket office outside Manchester Arena, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said. Investigators suspect the attack was carried out by Salman Abedi, 22, who detonated an improvised explosive device and died at the scene, Hopkins said.
According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant communication, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Names of the fatal victims continue to become public, though many still have not been publicly identified.