IT IS a tragedy that has brought back bad memories for many people in Glasgow, coming just a year after the Clutha helicopter disaster struck the city.
But once again Glasgow residents were praised for their resilience in the face of adversity as the city pulled together to face yesterday’s accident, which left six people dead and many more injured.
Within hours of the tragic event, some residents had stepped forward to offer help above and beyond the call of duty.
Glasgow taxi driver David Farrell offered via Twitter to help anyone affected by the tragedy by giving them a free ride.
“I’m working in town, any1 directly affected by 2days tragedy & cant get home or 2 hospital, i’ll take them for free,” he wrote on the social media site, adding that passengers should contact him via Twitter.
Local resident Kev K also tweeted his offer of help. He wrote: “I stay round the corner from #georgesquare, if anyone needs somewhere to wait or stay feel free to contact me.”
Actress Morven Christie referred to the Clutha tragedy as she paid tribute. “My city’s heart has been broken too many times in the past year. My heart belongs to Glasgow,” she wrote on Twitter.
Glasgow MSP Sandra White also praised the city’s reaction to the event. She said: “Glasgow is noted for how we respond to adversity – and we can be proud of the response of the emergency services, and of the people of Glasgow who did their best to help in the immediate aftermath.”
Members of the public laid flowers near George Square in tribute to the victims of the accident, which comes just a year and three weeks after the Clutha disaster.
It was November last year when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, killing ten people who were part of a crowd enjoying a music gig inside the bar.
Glasgow residents were praised for their solidarity and community spirit shown in the days following the crash.
More than 50 people benefited from a Clutha disaster fund set up after the event, which raised and disbursed £500,365 to help the families of the ten victims, as well as 49 others.
The incident also comes just seven years after terrorists drove a jeep packed with fuel and gas canisters at the terminal building of Glasgow airport – to be thwarted by baggage handler John Smeaton, among others, who famously said Glasgow would “set aboot” terrorists.
Politicians react with horror to tragedy and pay their respects to all affected
Scotland reacted with shock and horror after Christmas shoppers were knocked to their deaths in an accident that “could hardly be more tragic”.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson described the road crash which saw an out-of-control bin lorry strike pedestrians in the heart of the city days before Christmas as “a terrible tragedy”, while Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said his “heart broke” for those caught up in the incident.
Mr Matheson said: “This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, particularly the families of those who have lost their lives.”
Archbishop Tartaglia said: “I was shocked and horrified to hear the news of this incident.
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“My heart breaks for all those who have been directly caught up in it as they go about their business just a few days before Christmas in the centre of Glasgow.
“The circumstances could hardly be more tragic. I would ask any person of faith to pray for those who have died and their relatives and those who have been injured.”
Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, said: “This is shocking and upsetting. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by this terrible incident.”
Political leaders at Holyrood and Westminster also expressed their shock and paid tribute to the efforts of the emergency services.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “My thoughts are with everyone involved in the dreadful George Square incident. If you are in the city centre, please let your relatives know you are OK.”
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, below, said: “We don’t yet know the full extent of this tragedy, but my thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved.
“People in Glasgow and across the whole of Scotland will be mourning this loss of life so close to Christmas. No words will be able to do justice to the pain the families involved will be feeling this evening.
“I want to pay tribute to our emergency services, who are performing heroics in the worst of circumstances. They will have the admiration of every Glaswegian and all Scots.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “This is a terrible tragedy, right in the heart of Scotland’s biggest city.
“No-one expects that ordinary people, out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, would fail to make it home.
“Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones today.
“Glasgow’s response has been magnificent. Passers-by immediately tried to help the injured, to direct traffic and assist the emergency services. Those emergency workers showed huge professionalism treating the wounded, securing the site and making sure people stayed safe.
“Glasgow has pulled together in recent times during such senseless tragedies, and we’ve seen it do so again today.” The tragedy struck barely a year after the Clutha Bar helicopter crash in the city. Ten people died when a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of the pub on 29 November last year.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’m being kept fully briefed on the major incident in Glasgow. My thoughts are with the families of those involved and the emergency services.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “Terrible news from Glasgow – my thoughts are with all those affected.”
Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran MP, below, said: “This is a tragedy that will be felt not just in Glasgow but across the whole country. Everybody in Scotland will keep the families of those who have died in their thoughts and prayers. Details of what happened will emerge over the coming hours and days. In the meantime, it is important our emergency services are given all the support they need.”
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