Liverpool blast witness recounts trying to save suspected bomber

A witness to the explosion outside Liverpool Women’s hospital has described how he tried to rescue the suspected bomber before he was repelled by flames.

Emad al-Swealmeen was trapped in a taxi when a device that he is believed to have made exploded on Sunday. CCTV footage of the incident shows Liam Spencer, who was metres away, rushing towards the taxi seconds after the blast.

Speaking to the BBC, Spencer said: “I could see the man in the back. I went to go grab him but he was engulfed in flames very quickly. I couldn’t reach a hold of him without setting myself on fire.”

Spencer, 21, who used to work at the hospital, had parked his car outside the entrance with his partner, Stephanie Stitt, inside. The explosion occurred just before 11am, after he had entered the hospital to collect some of belongings.

The video shows Stitt was in the car less than 10 metres from the blast. It shows her fleeing the car just before Spencer goes towards the burning taxi.

Spencer said he was shocked when he was told it was believed to be a terrorist incident. He said: “I’d worked there for nearly two years and it’s just never an incident like you think would happen at a women’s hospital for babies … it’s probably the most innocent place on Earth.”

Stitt said she was traumatised by her narrow escape. “At the minute I’m an emotional wreck,” she told the BBC. “At the time I just couldn’t stop shaking. I think it was just the adrenaline and the whole shock of everything.

“I haven’t stopped crying because … I thought the car had been hit and then all this stuff had gone flying over the car, and I’m just thinking that things could have been different, like my life could have been lost, more than anything, or I could be in a worse situation than I am now.”

Spencer said: “I’m just constantly worried about ‘what if?’”

The taxi’s driver, David Perry, escaped seconds before his car fully caught light and has since been discharged from hospital.

It has emerged that Swealmeen began buying materials for the attack in April. Spencer described Swealmeen as a coward. He said: “I just think it’s a selfish and cowardly thing to do.”

Stitt said the couple wanted to thank the doctors and nurses at the hospital for “helping us on that day and doing whatever they could to help”.

Comments are closed.