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MANCHESTER -Manchester, England is roughly 4,000 miles away from Missouri. But for students studying abroad, it can feel like a second home.

That home came under attack on May 22, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive outside an Ariana Grande concert. 

The blast killed 22 people and injured at least 59 others.

KOMU 8 News was able to talk to two MU students studying abroad during the attack.

Cole Hoskins has been living and studying in Manchester since January 2017. Hoskins was approximately three miles away when the event occurred, and said he didn't even know about the explosion until he started getting texts from friends and family back home.

"I didn’t really think anything of it, and over the next hour, all the sudden we’re finding out there was an explosion," Hoskins said. "Hospital staff was required to work 24 to 48 hour plus shifts because of the mass influx of people who needed medical attention. It was crazy, I’m just in my dorm room within three miles of an ISIS terrorist attack, I couldn’t even think straight."

Tiffany Brooks said she has seen an outpouring of support for the victims and their families since the attack.

"I’ve seen so many fundraising efforts to help the victims," Brooks said. "There was also a vigil [Tuesday] night that was completely packed, thousands of people came out to pay their respects, and it’s just so beautiful to see."

Hoskins said the same thing, noting that people appear to be coming together in this time of crisis.

"There’s bars and restaurants that are close to the campus that have 'I love Manchester' posters and flags hanging out of their windows," Hoskins said. "It’s awesome to see that all these communities that are around Manchester and in Manchester are really coming together and saying 'hey, we’re not backing down.'"

"I just want to give praise to all the people in Manchester honestly," Brooks said. "They’ve been totally amazing in responding to all of this, they responded with love and care and kindness rather than hatred." 

At the time of the attack, both students received text messages from the University of Missouri International Center, as well as the United States Embassy to make sure they were safe.

Since then, both Hoskins and Brooks said there has been an increased police and army presence, especially at tourist attractions and large areas such as malls.

British Prime Minister Theresa May recently raised the terror threat level to "critical."

 

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