'Bright and popular' Nell, 14, named as victim of Manchester bomber

Undated handout photo issued by Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School & Sixth Form College of Nell Jones, 14, who died after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night
Undated handout photo issued by Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School & Sixth Form College of Nell Jones, 14, who died after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night

Tributes have been paid to a "bright and popular" schoolgirl killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Nell Jones, 14, died at the scene of the blast on Monday evening, the student's school in Cheshire said.

Denis Oliver, headteacher at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive and Sixth Form said: "We are all devastated by the loss and as a school community we must now come to terms with what has happened.

"Nell was a very bright and popular student."

Mr Oliver said Nell's family has been left "devastated" by her death.

The year nine pupil's form tutor David Wheeler said: "Nell was a very popular girl, always smiling, always positive.

"Her tutor group have been together since the transition from primary school.

"It feels like they have lost a sister not a classmate."

Another pupil Freya Lewis is recovering in hospital after lengthy surgery for injuries sustained in the attack, her father Nick said.

Mr Lewis, in a statement released through the school, said: "Our situation is impossible to describe, but the amazing support that everyone has shown us has been breathtaking.

"After 10 and a half hours in surgery she is stable.

"The staff at the hospital have been incredible.

"Freya has been sewn, bolted, drilled and bandaged back together.

"It is going to be a long climb but we are on the first step.

"We really know how much you all care.

"Our priority now is to concentrate on our children and to make sense of what has happened.

"We have some very personal conversations to have with people we had never met until what seems just a few hours ago and thank you feels so inadequate.

"We are working closely with Freya's school and are therefore asking for everyone to please respect our privacy as a family."

Pupils, staff and parents will be offered support in the coming days, Mr Oliver added.

READ: Manchester Attack: Who were the victims?