Four Scottish helicopter crash victims named
Hundreds of people attend remembrance service for Glasgow victims
A police officer lays flowers near the scene of a helicopter crash in Glasgow city centre. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
John McGarrigle junior, son of 60-year-old John McGarrigle senior, shows a camera phone picture of himself and his father, as he fears for his father’s well-being, who is missing after the Glasgow helicopter crash. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Member of the emergency services covering a piece of the helicopter on the roof of the Clutha Bar. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Members of the emergency services covering a piece of the helicopter on the roof of the Clutha Bar yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Rescue workers remove part of the wreckage from The Clutha bar in Stockwell Street where a police helicopter crashed on the banks of the River Clyde on Friday night. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Four of at least eight people who died when a police helicopter crashed into a crowded pub in Scotland have been named.
The pilot and two constables on board were among those killed when the aircraft came down on to the roof of the Clutha Vaults bar in Glasgow on Friday night.
Pilot David Traill (51) died along with officers Kirsty Nelis (36) and Tony Collins (43) as they returned from a police operation. Both constables were members of the helicopter unit and had both previously been commended for acts of bravery, police chief constable Sir Stephen House said.
The daughter of 48-year-old Gary Arthur from Paisley, who was inside the pub, paid tribute to her father, writing on Twitter “you’ll always mean the world to me.”
The four other victims who were in the busy bar have not yet been identified and police have not ruled out the possibility that more bodies could be recovered from the wreckage.
Rescuers are still at the scene and the painstaking task of removing the remains of the helicopter is under way.
The popular venue was hosting live music on Friday night and was packed with more than 100 people when the tragedy happened at 10.25.
Twelve of 32 people taken to hospital continue to receive treatment, with three in intensive care.
Air accident experts have launched an investigation into what caused the Bond-operated Eurocopter EC135 to crash into the bar close to the River Clyde.
Sir Stephen said: “Until the helicopter is completely removed from the scene and the right people are in the premises and are able to look through the rubble completely and start to clear it, we cannot say about exact numbers,” he said. “No-one will be putting pressure on them in terms of time but things are proceeding, we are making progress and I know that people want to be reassured of that. “It may appear that it’s not going as fast as people want. The answer is it’s painstaking and it’s important that everything there is treated with the courtesy and respect it deserves.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited some of those who were injured in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and said she felt humbled by the stories she had heard of off duty medical staff reporting for duty in the crash aftermath and members of the public queuing up to give blood the following morning.
“This is still very raw for people in Glasgow, that rawness will subside... but there are going to be a lot of people with scars moving forward and that’s when you’re really going to see Glasgow come to its best,” she said.
Hospital staff had seven minutes warning people the injured arrived at emergency wards across Glasgow. Health board chairman Andrew Robertson described the effect of the accident as a “huge trauma” and those involved would require support for months to come. “Some of the families will be quite as traumatised as the individuals themselves,” he said.
Earlier today hundreds of people attended a service at Glasgow Cathedral, near the Royal Infirmary, where prayers were said and candles were lit for those caught up in the crash.
Reverend Laurence Whitley told the congregation, including Mr House and Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, that Glasgow was ”great, vibrant and irrepressible” and had come together “to express solidarity” with those who have suffered loss.
Condolences came from The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the day after messages of support from the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron. A letter addressed to the Lord Provost said: “My wife and I wanted to send our most heartfelt thoughts and sympathy to the families of those who were lost or injured in Friday’s truly shocking helicopter accident in Glasgow.
“Words can seem wholly inadequate in such circumstances, but in offering every possible healing thought to those who survived, we also wanted to pay tribute to the emergency services and their exemplary response.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland would recover from the tragedy. He said: “The rescue and recovery operation at the Clutha continues and, as the Chief Constable has indicated, the area from which the helicopter is being removed is a confined one, but we must prepare ourselves for the possibility that there could be further fatalities to come.
“Tragedies do not define people, cities or countries. They are defined by how we respond, how we endure and how we recover. We have responded, we endure and Glasgow and Scotland will recover.”