Glasgow helicopter crash: Eight dead at Clutha pub

5 December 2013


Eight people are now confirmed to have died after a police helicopter crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow city centre.

Three people inside the helicopter and five people inside The Clutha were killed after the Police Scotland aircraft came down at 22:30 on Friday.

A further 14 people are being treated for "very serious injuries" in hospitals across the city.

A major investigation is under way and the Air Accidents Investigations Branch will conduct an inquiry into the crash.

Dr Jennifer Armstrong, medical director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said that of the 32 people taken to local hospitals after the crash, 18 had now been treated and discharged.

She confirmed that 14 people were still being treated for serious injuries.

"The main injuries we have seen include chest injuries, head injuries, long-bone fractures and lacerations," she said.

It is thought that about 120 people were in the pub at the time of the crash.

Many were rescued or escaped but others were trapped by a collapse on the left-hand side of the building.
The three occupants of the helicopter who died were two police officers and a civilian pilot.

A significant number of personnel from Police Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service are still at the scene.

Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House told a news conference on Saturday afternoon that they would remain there for some time.

Chief Constable House said the operation would go on "for many days yet".

In a statement, Eurocopter said its experts were "on standby to support the investigation in every way possible".

"An accident investigation team from Eurocopter is on its way to Scotland to assist the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch and the BFU (German AAIB) in its efforts to investigate the cause of the accident," the statement said.

Helicopter operator Bond Air Services said it was working with the police and emergency services.

A statement added: "Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this tragic incident."

William Byrne, 45, from Coatbridge, who was in the pub when the helicopter came down, returned to the scene on Saturday morning.

"There was a loud bang. Then there was dust and the lights went out. It was surreal," he told BBC Scotland.

"We didn't know what had happened. At our side of the pub at least two people were trapped under the gantry. Myself and others lifted it up and managed to get them out. I spent some time with one injured man."

He added: "At our side of the pub I would say there were less than 10 people injured, mainly walking wounded, not seriously injured. One girl had clearly been hit on the head - she had a big bump.

"The other side of the pub took the brunt. Myself and my friends managed to get out without a scratch. Everyone helped everyone else to get out."

Read the article on the BBC News website