Clutha helicopter crash: Families grieve victims

A police officer comes to terms with the helicopter tragedy. Picture: HEMEDIA
A police officer comes to terms with the helicopter tragedy. Picture: HEMEDIA
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TRIBUTES continued to pour in yesterday for the victims of the Glasgow helicopter crash, as emergency services removed the body of a ninth casualty from the scene and police named the last four people who died in the tragedy.

Pilot and former RAF flight lieutenant David Traill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, were on board the Eurocopter craft and died when it landed on The Clutha bar.

Six people inside the pub were killed, two of whom had earlier been formally identified – Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, and Samuel McGhee from Glasgow.

Last night, police said the remaining four were Robert Jenkins, 61, and Mark O’Prey, 44, both from East Kilbride, 33-year-old Colin Gibson of Ayr, and John McGarrigle, 57, from Cumbernauld.

It is understood Mr McGhee, 56, came from the Castlemilk area. His daughter, Kerry, thanked emergency services and paid tribute to him.

On Police Scotland’s Facebook page, she had sought to reassure the relatives who had been waiting to find out if their loved ones were among the dead.

She said it was a long process and she was just thankful her wait was over, although the news had been devastating, adding: “Rip dad will love you always.”

Mr McGhee, who is believed to have a son who lives in Birmingham, had been in the Clutha with his friend Mr McGarrigle, a poet and writer.

Mr McGarrigle’s son, also called John, said he had been told his father was sitting directly under the area where the helicopter had hit.

Another Clutha patron, Mark O’Prey, had also been unaccounted for.

The 44-year-old was last seen by a friend who asked him to hold his drink while he went outside to have a cigarette.

His father Ian O’Prey had earlier said the recovery of the victims could have been conducted with more haste.

He added: “I thought if they’d made a better attempt on the Saturday night, I thought they perhaps could have got them out a lot earlier than they did, but I think they were more concerned about this helicopter.”

A longstanding friend of PC Collins told how he and other friends had found the news of his death “too hard to comprehend”.

Stuart Robertson, had known Mr Collins since they forged a friendship on Arran as teenagers and they grew close over the following three decades. He said it was an “impossibility” to remember his friend without crying.

On Facebook, he said: “I cannot begin to write a eulogy for this man. His accomplishments were too great and my literary skills too poor. What I will say is this. Dignity, loyalty, selflessness, integrity and fun loving were core attributes.”

Twelve of the 32 people who were taken to hospital continued to receive treatment across the city’s hospitals yesterday, with three of them still in intensive care.


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