Taxi drivers turn off their meters, offer stranded Manchester victims free rides

CNN  — 

People have responded with extraordinary acts of kindness following Monday night’s deadly bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

In the face of the attack, which left many concertgoers stranded, taxi drivers turned off their meters and began taking people away from the venue to safety.

One of them was Sam Arshad, owner of Street Cars Manchester, who realized something wasn’t right when he drove past Manchester Arena around 10:30 p.m.

“I saw children screaming and running,” he told CNN. “It was horrifying to see young children running, just to imagine what they were going through.”

Arshad said it wasn’t long before his company began receiving phone calls from “panicked parents”.

“The volume of calls was enormous.

Sam Arshad, owner of Street Cars Manchester.

“It was clear from the calls that it was a very young audience, they were literally children and didn’t have any money to pay for taxi fares.”

He says in that moment the team at Street Cars Manchester agreed that they would provide free transport to anyone who had been stranded in the Manchester area due to the terror attack.

“Whoever was stranded in the city center and didn’t have the means to get home, we would transport for free – child or adult.”

Arshad said his team offered 33 free rides to those in need.

“I could understand (parents) pain, so we took it upon ourselves to take the children to safety, and thanks to all our drivers they did a great job.”

Separately, many residents began using the hashtag #RoomForManchester and began offering help and spare rooms to strangers who couldn’t get home.

In the face of previous attacks, strangers have reached out to help with similar overtures that surfaced on social media after events such as the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015 and suicide bombings in Brussels in March 2016.