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Glasgow pub helicopter crash:Helicopter crew named

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  • by EMMA COWING
 

POLICE have named the three crew who died when their helicopter crashed onto a Glasgow pub roof on Friday night.

• Reports name Gary Arthur, pilot David Traill and police officers Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins as four of the victims

• Police Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House said the possibility of the number of fatalities rising could not be discounted

• Special service held to remember victims as rescue and recovery operation continues

• 8 people confirmed dead by police

• Two officers and civilian pilot found dead within Eurocopter EC135 T2 helicopter

• 5 found within building

• 14 people remain seriously injured in hospital

• Emergency services working to search for those inside the building

Police officers Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins, along with pilot David Traill were confirmed to have died in the crash by Police Scotland chief constable Sir Stephen House at a press conference this afternoon.

Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, was earlier confirmed to have died in the pub.

Mr Arthur’s daughter, Celtic and Scottish women’s footballer Chloe Arthur, 18, wrote on Twitter: “RIP dad. you’ll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart.

“Thanks to everyone who has tweeted me, text me etc, means so much, I have the most amazing friends ever.”

At least eight people - including the civilian pilot and two police officers - were killed when the police helicopter crashed into the building on Friday. Another 12 people are in hospital with serious injuries, whilst two have been allowed home.

John McGarrigle, 38, said an eyewitness had told him that his father, also John McGarrigle, 59, had also been killed.

Second body recovered

A second body was recovered from the pub this morning, as the rescue mission continued.

Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland Rose Fitzpatrick, said another body had been removed by rescuers from the site.

Safety recommendations will be ‘immediately followed’ - Salmond

And earlier today First Minister Alex Salmond said any safety recommendations which follow the tragedy will be “immediately followed.”

But he insists that Scotland’s emergency services still have “appropriate cover” in the air.

It has emerged that the Eurocopter 135, which crashed into the Clutha pub on Friday, had been grounded last year by Euro aviation chiefs along with dozens of other similar craft amid safety fears.

Mr Salmond insisted that this was down to a design issue and it had been cleared after 24 hours.

“Speculation over the cause of the accident is understandable, but it has to follow the facts as they are found out by the Air Accident Investigation Branch,” he told the BBC’s Politics Show .

Air accident investigators are currently carrying out inquiries at the site which saw eight fatalities after the tragedy late on Friday night.

The First Minister added: “Any instructions that are required come from the Civil Aviation Authority and those instructions are followed.

“When you have an extraordinary incident such as this - and I’ve represented an oil and fishing constituency for a quarter of a century - so these tragedies are not unknown.

“When you get a situation that occurs like this then obviously reasonable questions are asked, but the authorities are in place to issue the precautionary and any other instructions that are required to ensure the safety of the public.”

Mr Salmond said there are hundreds of Eurocopter 135s in service across the world. The other emergency service helicopters have been inspected and are “fully functional” from this afternoon, he added, while the police have air cover as well.

“Our emergency services continue with the appropriate cover,” the First Minister said.

“But any instructions that come out from the civil aviation authority based on advice from the Air Accident Investigation Branch, these would be immediately followed.”

Special service

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave readings at a special service to remember the victims of the crash in the city this morning.

Hundreds of people gathered at Glasgow Cathedral to remember those killed and injured in the helicopter crash in the city.

Sunday school children lit eight candles in memory of the eight confirmed dead while Rev Dr Laurence Whitley led prayers.

He told the congregation that Glasgow was “great and irrepressible” and had come together “in solidarity” over the past two days.

Prayers were also said for the emergency service crews working to rescue and recover people from the building.

Rev Whitley spoke of his experiences visiting those injured by the incident in hospital on Saturday morning.

“All we found we could do was look at each other and shrug,” he said.

“What was there to say about that heart wrenching event that had happened?”

An area of the pub has yet to be searched immediately under the wreckage of the copter and there remains a possibility of further fatalities could be found.

Twelve people are still in hospital after the accident, with three in intensive care, although their condition is described as stable.

Police appeal

Officers from Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team are asking the public to send any photographs, audio or video footage they have of the incident or the surrounding areas to a dedicated email address which has been set up to receive media.

Anyone who has footage is asked to send it to glasgowhelicopterincident@scotland.pnn.police.uk.

Brian Docherty, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, paid tribute to those killed in the crash including its air crew members.

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to the families and friends of all those who have lost loved ones in this tragic incident and especially to the family, friends and colleagues of the air crew.

“Their loss will of course be most sorely felt by those who knew them but has already been felt across the policing world. I am grateful for the messages of support and condolences that have come in from across the UK and from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I am sure this will provide comfort to the families in the difficult times that lie ahead.

“Our members are unfortunately all to used to dealing with tragedy and delivering bad news but that they performed their duties so effectively in the face of certain knowledge they were dealing with the likely deaths of one of our own, is a testament to their sheer professionalism and is a credit to the whole of the police

service.”

‘Black day’

Scotland’s First Minster Alex Salmond praised the “courage of ordinary Glaswegians” on Saturday morning.

“This is a black day for Glasgow and Scotland.

“On St Andrew’s Day we can take pride and courage in how people responded to this tragedy.

“We can take great pride in how we responded to this extraordinary tradgedy.”

“A full investigation is now under way. However, at this early stage it is too early to provide details on why the helicopter came down,” said Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick.

“We are working hard to recover people still inside the building and we will make further details available when we have them.”

Emergency workers were still labouring to free any people trapped in the rubble. The mangled helicopter was embedded in the pub’s roof.

Police Scotland said it was too early to speculate on what caused the Eurocopter EC135 T2, the force’s only helicopter, to smash into the pub.

The helicopter did not appear to have caught fire. The Air Accident Investigation Branch has begun an investigation.

Helicopter operator Bond Air Services said it was working with Police Scotland.

A large section of the city centre was cordoned off with all roads leading to the junction of Clyde Street, Stockwell Street, Bridgegate and the Victoria Bridge closed.

Police have set up a telephone number for members of the public who are concerned about relatives who may have been involved in the crash. It is 0800 092 0410.

Human chain

Labour’s international development spokesman Jim Murphy MP said he saw people “clambering out’’ of the bar as he was driving past and jumped out to help.

He said: “There were people with injuries. Bad gashes to the head. Some were unconscious. I don’t know how many.

“The helicopter was inside the pub. It’s a mess. I could only get a yard or two inside. I helped carry people out.’’

Mr Murphy told Sky News that people formed a human chain to help pass unconscious people out of the pub so that “inch by inch, we could get the people out”.

Roof collapse

The bar was busy with revellers enjoying a gig by nine-piece ska band Esperanza at the time of the crash.

A message on the Esperanza’s Facebook page read: “It seems that the band are all OK. Not so sure about everyone else.”

Grace MacLean, who was inside the pub, told BBC News: “They carried on playing and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and then the whole pub just filled with dust. You couldn’t see anything, you couldn’t breathe.

“People started coming out with injuries and blood and everyone was going over and trying to help out.

“I don’t think it crashed, if it had crashed there would have been fire, there would have been a noise, but we didn’t hear anything, it was the smoke that we noticed.

“I think maybe whoever was in the helicopter just tried to land on the roof or something.”

SEE ALSO:

Reaction: Glasgow Clutha pub helicopter crash

Mechanical fault theory in Clutha helicopter crash

Man fears father died in Clutha helicopter crash

Saltires flown at half mast on St Andrew’s Day

 

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