Clutha bar closes early to honour victims of crash

THE GLASGOW bar which had a helicopter crash through its roof was set to close its doors early last night, on the second anniversary of the tragedy which claimed ten lives.

The Clutha will close at 9pm tonight. Picture: John Devlin

This is the first anniversary on which the Clutha bar has been open since the accident, when a police helicopter crashed into the pub as more than 100 people were enjoying a night out.

The bar re-opened in July, 20 months after the disaster.

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All three people who were in the helicopter, pilot David Traill, who was attached to Police Scotland’s air support unit, and police constables Tony Collins and Kirsty Nellis were killed when the Eurocopter EC 135 crashed into the building.

The helicopter crash at the Clutha. Picture: Contributed

Those killed in the pub were John McGarrigle, Mark O’Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins and Samuel McGhee. Joe Cusker was pulled from the wreckage alive but later died in hospital.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report into the incident found two fuel supply switches were off in the helicopter and that the pilot did not follow emergency procedures after a fuel warning in the cockpit. The report also recommended that all police helicopters be equipped with black box flight recording equipment.

Mr Traill’s sister Evelyn Holmes Mitchell said after the report was published that her brother “would not only have done everything in his power to save his companions and others but had the years of flying and teaching to make sure such a thing would not happen”.

Owner Alan Crossan said: “We will be closing at 9pm on Sunday night. It’s a difficult situation, and we thought that would be best.

“But we will be open all day for people to pay their respects – some have already been down, including some of the families involved and some of the injured.”

Mr Crossan also echoed criticisms of a report into the crash, which some said did not reach a clear enough conclusion.

“We still want to get proper answers to bring some closure to this – it’s something we’ll keep pushing for,” he said.

The venue will re-open today as Scottish singer Sandi Thom will play in the pub.

The gig is being held to raise money for the Clutha Trust which was set up in the aftermath of the crash.

It aims to enable disadvantaged children and young people to become involved in the arts.