Helicopter crash minute’s silence


Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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A minute’s silence was held at the scene of the Clutha helicopter crash a year after 10 people lost their lives.

Members of the emergency services and people touched by the tragedy gathered outside the Glasgow bar to remember those killed when a police helicopter crashed onto the roof of the pub on November 29 last year.

Dozens of floral tributes and candles have been placed outside the Clutha to mark the anniversary.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Glasgow will never forget the tragedy after hundreds of people attended a memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral yesterday.

She said: “I think it gave Glasgow the opportunity to say to all those affected by this dreadful tragedy that they are still in our thoughts, that we haven’t forgotten, and we want to show them our love and support at what will be an incredibly difficult time for them.”

She added: “This is a tragedy that I think will live in Glasgow’s memory forever, but out of adversity last year came an incredible spirit as the city pulled together.

“We saw from our emergency services and ordinary members of the public such an amazing response.”

A ska band was performing at the popular bar when the Police Scotland helicopter piloted by David Traill and carrying officers Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins crashed onto the roof at around 10.25pm.

The Eurocopter EC135 was said to have dropped like a stone through the single-storey building after both engines failed.

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.

A large group of people gathered outside the Clutha last night to observe a minute’s silence and view the tributes that have been laid there.

A card signed by a family in Motherwell read: “Even though we may not know one another, the victims and families are always in our thoughts.”

Another card read “Night night Papa Joe. Love you.”

Accident investigators say they will issue a draft report on their findings early next year, with their final conclusions expected in the middle of the year.

On Friday night a benefit concert was held in Glasgow’s Barrowlands venue in aid of the Clutha Trust, established in the aftermath of the crash to help disadvantaged young people.

At the service on the eve of St Andrew’s Day, Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia said of the 10 who died: “They have never been forgotten, especially not by those who love them most and who miss them most sorely.

“I can never pass by the Clutha Vaults without remembering them and recalling what happened, and whispering a ‘Hail Mary’ for the dead, injured and bereaved.”

The Archbishop spoke of how the tragedy had drawn the people of Scotland together.

He said: “Out of this tragedy we are called to be better, more compassionate, more understanding human beings.

“And I would hope that we could turn that memory into a legacy, a legacy which would honour the victims of the Clutha Vaults tragedy, so that we can say once and for all that their deaths contributed to Glasgow and Scotland becoming a better place for everyone.”

The First Minister said: “I think during the service it was so obvious, and so understandable, that for the families most directly affected it is still very raw.

“I think that’s what makes it all the more important that we send a very simple but very heartfelt message to them this weekend that they are in our thoughts.

“Every single day of the last year will have been so, so difficult for the families affected, every day of the next year will be difficult as well.”

Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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