A Brit firefighter and his hospital worker wife have been named as victims of the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks.
Billy Harrop, 56, and his wife Sally both died during the bombings on Easter Sunday which claimed the lives of at least 290 people.
Their son Gavin, who was also in Sri Lanka at the time, survived the blasts which targeted churches and hotels, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Billy was a well known and highly respected former fireman officially commended for his heroism during the IRA bombing of Manchester.
He had worked in various roles across Greater Manchester and it’s thought he had recently retired and emigrated to Australia with his family.
Sally is understood to have worked in a hospital.
The family was in Sri Lanka on holiday at the time of the devastating attacks.
Gary Keary, Fire Brigade Union brigade secretary, said: “The FBU is shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of former firefighter Billy Harrop and his wife in the tragic events in Sri Lanka.
“The FBU sends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Kev Brown, former Fire Brigades Union secretary, said: “Billy was a former pupil of Sale Grammar School, was well known in the brigade, and was a real character.
“He led the Philips Park team in response to the IRA bomb in Manchester 1996 and received a commendation for his actions in the incident.”
As station manager at Philips Park fire station, Mr Harrop and his colleagues were one of the first crews on the scene after the IRA detonated what at the time was biggest bomb that had ever exploded on the British mainland.
While no-one was killed, Mr Harrop and his colleagues tended to the hundreds of injured and searched for a suspected second device.
The devastating eight blasts in Sri Lanka killed 290 people and injured more than 500.
Members of little known Islamic group National Thowheed Jamath are alleged to have blown themselves up at three churches and three hotels on the Indian Ocean island with help from an international network.
All of the Easter Sunday bombers were Sri Lankan nationals, and the government has said there were several warnings of possible attacks in the days before the massacre that included eight Britons among the dead.
A grieving British dad earlier paid an emotional tribute to his wife and two children, who were killed in the attacks.
Ben Nicholson was with wife Anita and children Alex, 14, and Annabel, 11, when a suspected suicide bomber set off a device at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.
They were eating breakfast at the hotel when the blast happened.
Mr Nicholson survived the explosion, and desperately attempted to locate his loved ones in the aftermath.
He has described his wife as “wonderful” and “perfect” and his children as “amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful”.
The Met Police has released a statement following the attacks.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “My thoughts and condolences are with the people of Sri Lanka and all those who have been affected by the devastating attacks that took place yesterday, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of people.
“We now also know that at least eight British people were killed during the attacks and Counter Terrorism Policing is working with our colleagues from the Foreign Office to support the families affected.
“A number of churches were targeted during the attacks but we stand together with communities of all faiths, and we will continue to work with our communities and our partners to counter the threat no matter where it comes from.
“Together with our intelligence partners we continually monitor the varied threats we face, including to and around places of worship and specific communities across the country, to ensure we have the most appropriate protective security measures in place to keep people safe.”