Clutha tragedy survivor ‘wants to finish pint’

In November 2013, a helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Picture: PA

In November 2013, a helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Picture: PA

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A RETIRED firefighter injured in the Clutha tragedy is desperate to attend the reopening of the devastated pub - so he can finish his pint.

Douglas Naismith is thought to have been the closest survivor to the impact zone when a police helicopter crashed into the Glasgow bar on November 29, 2013, killing ten people.

Retired fireman Douglas Naismith who was in the Clutha bar having a pint when the tragedy occurred. Picture: Hemedia

Retired fireman Douglas Naismith who was in the Clutha bar having a pint when the tragedy occurred. Picture: Hemedia

He was thrown across the room by the force of the crash and required surgery, after a timber beam from the roof landed on him and broke his collar bone.

And later he had to undergo a hip replacement and still suffers from the trauma, but said he is still looking forward to going back to the pub to taste the pint he never got to drink.

Douglas, 57, a former senior fire investigator, from Glasgow, said: “That pint I bought, I never even got the chance to drink it, so it would give me a lot of closure to take a sip.

“It will be a couple of years too late but at least I’m one of the lucky ones who can go back to drink it.

It would give me a lot of closure to take a sip.

Douglas Naismith

“I do enjoy a pint or two, maybe three, and I can visualise it right now just thinking about it.

“I’ve seen my fair share of trauma and tragedy, but when it’s your turn to face it then it’s quite a shock to reality.

“I remember going into that bar and I walked about five paces from the bar to where the helicopter came down on the roof.

“I’d moved a few paces away from the impact zone, I was really lucky.

“I used to go there two to three times a month. It’s a local pub where you could buy a pint and listen to some great music.”

Since the tragic incident, Douglas has undergone a hip replacement after he developed a sharp pain in his left leg.

And while he is well experienced in dealing with trauma, after a few months he began to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

He said: “I was shocked by the whole event, but I don’t think I was psychologically affected at first. A timber beam landed on my legs but gravity helped me brush it off.

“It took about three months before I started getting flashbacks, feelings of anxiety, and stressed out being in large company.

“I was in town one night after the referendum near George Square where the bin lorry crashed and there was a police helicopter directly above me buzzing about.

“I had to tell my pals that I needed to get the hell out of there, it was making me very anxious.”

But Douglas is keeping his eye on the prize for when the Clutha reopens at the end of the month.

He added: “I’m looking forward to that Guinness. I can’t wait to buy it.”

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