As People Rushed Away From Manchester Arena, The City's Cabbies Drove Towards It

They weren’t the only heroes in the aftermath of last night's deadly attack.

Monday night was Manchester taxi driver AJ Singh's night off, but when he heard news of a bombing following an Ariana Grande concert at the city's arena, he thought, "Manchester needs our help," he told The Telegraph.

He drove towards the arena with the goal of ferrying as many young concert-goers to their destinations as he could — all free of fare. 

"I've had people who need to find loved ones. I've dropped some off to the hospital," he told the paper. "They've not had any money. They've been stranded. There's no transport in Manchester. All the roads are closed. It's very hard to get around ... I'm still shaking now."

Singh was not alone in his decision to fight back fear and concerns for personal safety to offer aid to those near the site of the attack. Many other taxi drivers joined him transporting shell-shocked passengers away from the arena, and as reports broke overnight that outlined the scale of the tragedy — 22 people died in the bombing, including children as young as 8Mancunians united on social media to make shelter, blankets, and hot tea available to concert-goers via the hashtag #RoomForManchester. Local hotels reportedly opened their doors as well to cared for children who had attended the concert without a parent or had been separated from them in the chaos that followed. 

In the morning, reporters documented long lines standing outside blood donor centers in England, lines reminiscent of those following previous attacks in Paris and Orlando.

Singh, for his part, has a theory about why Mancunians were so quick to act on the behalf of their neighbors.

"We should come out and show whoever's done this that it doesn't matter because Manchester, we're glue and we stick together when it counts," he told The Telegraph.

Cover image: Magdalena Paluchowska / Shutterstock

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