Charles ‘concerned over Clutha’

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

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The owner of the Clutha has told of the Prince of Wales’s concern for the families of those killed when a helicopter crashed into the bar.

Alan Crossan said Charles had asked after the relatives of the 10 victims and also expressed concern about the speed of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) probe into the tragedy.

Mr Crossan said families and victims had been left “at the bottom of the pile” as he called for answers on what happened at the Glasgow pub on the night of November 29 2013.

He was speaking after the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the bar, which is expected to reopen within weeks.

During the visit, Charles, who also went to the site in the aftermath of the crash, signed a ukulele to be auctioned to raise funds for the Clutha Trust, a charity working to support young people, and the Prince’s Trust.

Mr Crossan said: ” It was really very touching that they put the effort in to come and see it.

“He was asking about the insurance companies, he was asking about the AAIB report and how the families were and how everybody was coping.

“He was obviously very concerned about that.”

Asked what Charles had said about the report into the crash, he added: “Just the delay on it, he was concerned that things should happen quicker than that and then we started talking about the pub and how that was going.

“The main concern was how everybody was coping with things and how we look forward to moving things forward and being positive.”

An initial report into the accident said the aircraft suffered engine failure and the final conclusions of the AAIB are expected to be released in the coming months.

In February it emerged that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon raised concerns about the speed of the investigation in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Families of the victims are said to be surprised and upset that they have not been able to see a draft report on the tragedy which has been passed to “interested parties”.

Mr Crossan said: “They know what happened and people don’t. So where does that put an ordinary person?

“It’s not fair, the cards are stacked against everybody – families, victims, everybody at the bottom of the pile, and they shouldn’t be.

“They want answers, simple answers.

“What do you do? Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Cameron and said you know, what’s happening? It’s just the usual blank answer isn’t it?

“We asked David Cameron to do something and he sat on his hands. I don’t think he (Charles) would do that but they definitely need some kind of pressure on them.

“It’s all just different rumours that are going about where you need the actual facts. Once we get the AAIB report it won’t give us all the answers that’s for sure.

“But it’ll give us a step and it’s about getting people a wee bit forward with what’s happening in their lives.”

Mr Crossan said he had hoped to open the Clutha on Friday but had been held up by a technicality relating to the concrete pads to hold up the roof.

“If I could do it for a week on Friday, great,” he said.

During their visit, Charles and Camilla, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, met representatives from the Clutha Trust, the Prince’s Trust, the Gorbals Barn Project and Royston Youth Action in the bar’s garden area.

They viewed a mural of well-known faces painted on the outside of the pub and enjoyed a drink in the adjoining Victoria bar before listening to a performance by musicians from the Prince’s Trust.

Published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 by The News Editor

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