Orphaned daughters pay tribute to parents murdered in Manchester Arena bombing

Orphaned daughters of a Polish couple murdered in the Manchester Arena bombing have paid tribute to their parents at the public inquiry into the attack.

Marcin, 42, and Angelika Klis, 39, were waiting to pick up their daughters, Aleksandra, then aged 20, and Patrycja, then 14, in the foyer of the arena following an Ariana Grande concert in May, 2017.

York taxi driver Mr Klis and his wife, a shop assistant for Tesco, came to the UK and worked to provide all they could for their children, the hearing was told.

“We think of our parents all the time, they are never out of our thoughts,” their children said in a statement to the inquiry.

Angelika and Marcin Klis
Angelika and Marcin Klis

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, surrounded by the throng of elated youngsters leaving the concert, exploded his shrapnel-packed rucksack bomb, sending thousands of nuts and bolts shredding everything in their path.

The couple died along with 20 others, with hundreds left injured in the attack on May 22, 2017.

Details of the couple’s life and death were given during the commemorative phase of the public inquiry, where family members of each of the 22 murdered in the attack give tributes including statements, videos and photographs of their loved ones.

A tribute from their daughters was read by a legal representative, during which the last photo of them was displayed on screens.

The snap of the smiling couple had been taken on the evening of the bombing near the arena as they waited for the concert to finish and collect their daughters from the event.

Within hours they were both dead and their children orphaned.

The hearing in Manchester was told both were born in Slowno, a small town in northern Poland and grew up in another town, Darlowo nearby.

They had married in Poland in 1996 and divorced 10 years later but only remained apart for a short time and though they did not remarry, were very much still in love, the hearing was told.

The daughters’ statement read: “I don’t know an awful lot about their growing up and education. I’m not sure how my parents met but they met in the early 1990s and fell in love.”

In 2004 their father, a postman in Poland, moved to the UK, working initially for Tesco and latterly as a taxi driver after all the family moved to York in 2007.

Angelika, who had studied economics in Poland, initially worked as a cleaner then as a shop worker for Tesco until she was killed.

She liked sunbathing, shopping and massages and their father enjoyed photography and rock music, the girls said.

They would go back to Poland once a year and also enjoyed family holidays in Rome and Egypt.

The statement said: “Every few weeks they would plan a family day because spending time with us made them both happy. We enjoyed every minute of time we spend together.

“Mum and dad’s love was incredibly strong, they were so in love as if teenagers without a care in the world.

“Most of all they were happy. They were soulmates and did not want to be without each other.

“Mum and dad were amazing parents and kind people.

“Losing our mum and dad and the pain and loss we feel is so hard to explain.

“We are completely devastated by what has happened and our lives have been completely turned upside down.”

The public inquiry into the circumstances of the attack is expected to last into spring next year.

The hearing continues.