- An Indian doctor made her daughter and friend leave the arena seven minutes before Manchester Arena was shaken by a bomb blast.
- Sonal Pathak's parking ticket was about to expire and she didn't want to pay an extra £3 for it.
- Luckily for Pathak, she didn't hear the blast as she had parked her car underground and found out about the news only after she reached home.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the country's terror threat level to critical and said the army could be deployed.
Minutes before the Manchester Arena was shaken by a bomb blast, an Indian doctor, her daughter and a friend walked out of the concert hall. The three weren’t bored by Ariana Grande’s performance but it was a parking ticket that made them walk hurriedly to their car.
Sonal Pathak, a 41-year-old resident of Altrincham in Manchester said that she timed her exit from the venue. She wanted to miss the last three songs because she had parked her car at a distance and her parking ticket was about to expire. Going late would mean paying an extra £3.
“We started walking out at 10.20pm and passed through the foyer at 10.23pm, the exact spot where the blasts took place at 10.30. I know this because I constantly had my eye on the watch...” she told The Times of India.
Pathak’s meticulous planning and an awareness of the time that was running out saved not just her life, but that of her daughter and a friend's. The three are among the few who walked out of the concert and signed a new lease of life with fate.
The doctor, still shaken by the bomb blast, said that she saw ambulances rushing but didn’t know why. Her narrow escape from death saved her from hearing the blast and witnessing the commotion that ensued. She found out about the bomb blast only after reaching home and switching on the TV.
The blast that rocked the Manchester Arena during Grande’s Dangerous Woman concert left 22 dead and 59 injured. Hours later, ISIS took responsibility for it and the UK police identified and arrested Salman Abedi as the man behind the attack. Abedi, a British citizen, is believed to have travelled to Libya a few weeks before he planted the bomb at the venue. UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack and has raised the country's threat level from severe to critical. She said the army could be deployed. The UK raised its terror threat level to critical back in 2007 after a car with gas canisters was driven into Glasgow Airport days after Gordon Brown took over as the Prime Minister.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:58 PM IST