Tags: scotland | helicopter | accident

Scotland Mourns Pub Helicopter Crash Victims

Sunday, 01 December 2013 08:13 AM EST

GLASGOW, Scotland — Scottish rescuers continued the search for bodies inside the wreckage of a Glasgow pub on Sunday as the nation said prayers for the eight killed in a freak police helicopter accident.

Fourteen people remained in hospital with serious injuries after the helicopter came crashing through the roof of The Clutha, a popular live music bar in Scotland's biggest city.

Well over 100 people were watching a local ska band play on a busy Friday night in the city center pub by the River Clyde when the unexplained disaster struck.

A memorial service was held at Glasgow Cathedral on what was supposed to be a weekend of festivities for Saint Andrew's Day, Scotland's patron saint.

"We will pause to mark those who have been injured, those who have lost their lives and all of the members of the public and emergency services who have worked so tirelessly, and continue to assist in the rescue operation," the Church of Scotland cathedral said.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those attending the service, along with ambulance workers in uniform.

Other churches across the country remembered the dead in their services.

Three people on board the helicopter — two officers and a civilian pilot — and five people in the bar are so far known to have been killed.

The first victim whose body was recovered from the scene was named as Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area of Glasgow, whose daughter Chloe plays football for Scotland and Celtic under-19s.

"RIP dad. you'll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart," she tweeted.

A minute's silence will be held ahead of the Scottish Cup football match between hosts Hearts and league champions Celtic in Edinburgh.

While Arthur is the only victim officially identified, reports have also named helicopter pilot David Traill and police officer Kirsty Nelis as among the dead.

Fire and rescue officers worked through a second night to free the wreckage of the Eurocopter EC135.

A few dozen police officers were standing on duty at the site, while more than 30 bunches of flowers were lined up against a nearby wall.

In the crisp morning daylight, two cranes could be seen at the site, one with its arm buried in the building.

Men in hard hats and high-visibility jackets were standing on the remains of the roof.

The BBC said straps had been attached to the helicopter ahead of an attempt to lift it clear.

The emergency teams want to ensure that everyone who might have been trapped inside is located, and recover as much of the helicopter as possible to work out what happened.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch has sent a team to the scene.

Newspapers speculated as to what might have triggered the accident, from a loss of power or fuel, to an attempted emergency landing on the one-story bar's flat roof.

Police appealed for anyone with video footage of the incident to send it to them, saying it "may be of help to the team as they investigate the cause of the crash."

People inside said they heard a heavy thud before the roof caved in and the air filled with dust and screams. Most were not aware until later that a helicopter had crashed on to the building.

Afterward pub goers and passers-by formed a "human chain" to help the wounded in the minutes before the emergency services arrived.

Thirty-two people were taken to hospital by ambulance, of whom 18 were later discharged.

The remaining 14 are suffering from "chest injuries, head injuries, long-bone fractures and lacerations", said Jennifer Armstrong, medical director of the Greater Glasgow Health Board.

Queen Elizabeth II said her prayers were with the victims, while British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond have offered their condolences.


© AFP 2024

Scottish rescuers continued the search for bodies inside the wreckage of a Glasgow pub on Sunday as the nation said prayers for the eight killed in a freak police helicopter accident.
Sunday, 01 December 2013 08:13 AM
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