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Glasgow helicopter crash: Victims’ bodies released to families

By DPF Admin3rd December 2013Latest News

Five people inside the Clutha pub and three people inside the Police Scotland aircraft died in the crash on Friday.

They were Robert Jenkins, 61; Mark O'Prey, 44; Colin Gibson, 33; John McGarrigle, 57; Samuel McGhee, 56; Gary Arthur, 48; David Traill, 51; and PCs Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

A fund has been launched to help their families, as well as survivors.

Glasgow City Council's existing charities have made the first contributions to the Clutha Appeal Fund.

The council also said it had “received a number of generous offers of support from businesses, charities and individuals” from across the city.

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty launched the fund, which will provide financial support to bereaved families and survivors.

She said: “Around the world, people have admired the courage shown by ordinary Glaswegians whose first instinct when tragedy struck was to run towards danger to help those in peril.

“Today, that desire to help is still strong and the Clutha Appeal Fund will give the city an opportunity to make sure the care, compassion and solidarity it has shown in the last few days continues.”

During a visit to the council's City Chambers to sign a book of condolence, Mr Salmond said the Scottish government would match donations to the fund.

He signed the book of condolence with the words: “Scotland stands with the people of Glasgow.”

During his statement at Holyrood, Mr Salmond said: “It is important now that we give the bereaved families support but also the time and privacy to grieve.

“Glasgow City Council has established a fund for affected families and I can confirm that the Scottish government will match the council's contribution.”

The first minister said the bodies of those who died were now being released to their families.

“The procurator fiscal has concluded his work to identity those who have died and he has authorised the release of their bodies to the families today,” he said.

“This will allow the families, with assistance and support, to make their funeral arrangements.”

Mr Salmond also said a full police investigation, under the direction of the Crown Office, had begun.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was conducting its own inquiries to determine the cause of the crash.

He added: “That investigation commenced on Saturday. We expect a preliminary report within the next few days, but full and final findings are not likely to be available for a number of months.

“We will make it clear that it would be very much in the interests of all concerned if that investigation is carried forward as quickly as humanly possible.

“Any decision by the Crown Office on further inquiry must await these full and final findings from the AAIB.”

Mr Salmond also said that Prime Minister David Cameron had offered military support on Saturday afternoon.

The first minister said it was not required but was “nevertheless appreciated”.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg laid a floral tribute at the scene of the crash.

He was accompanied by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson.

Mr Clegg said the UK government was willing to help the city council in any way necessary.

“We stand ready to provide help if and when it is needed,” he said.

“Of course we will continue to talk to them and work with the city council in any way we can to provide the help which they judge to be necessary.”

The deputy prime minister also paid tribute to the “exceptional” response of the people of Glasgow and the emergency services.

'Very proud'

He said everyone was full of admiration for how the city had come together and for the emergency services who “worked tirelessly in very difficult circumstances”.

Billy Connolly also placed flowers at the scene of the crash.

He said: “The Clutha was a good music pub – they didn't mind banjo players like me. I spent many a happy hour there.”

The comedian said the crash had been “dreadful”, but added: “Glasgow has really risen to the occasion – I am very proud to be Glaswegian.”

Hundreds of floral tributes left at the scene of the crash on Stockwell Street are to be moved on Tuesday to a pedestrian location on nearby South Clyde Street.

This will allow Glasgow City Council to re-open closed off streets in the next few days.

The names of the final four victims of the crash were released by police on Tuesday.

Mr O'Prey and Mr Jenkins, both from East Kilbride, Mr Gibson, from Ayr, and Mr McGarrigle, from Cumbernauld, had all been inside the pub.

Mr McGhee, of Glasgow, and Mr Arthur, from Paisley, Renfrewshire – who were earlier named among the dead – were also inside The Clutha.

The three dead helicopter crew were named at the weekend as pilot David Traill, 51, and PCs Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Eleven of the 32 people injured in the crash are still in hospital.

Seven are being treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary – three of whom are in intensive care.

nother three survivors are at the spinal injuries unit at the city's Southern General Hospital and the final patient is being treated at Glasgow's Western Infirmary.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the patients were “being treated for range of serious injuries including bone fractures, spinal injuries, lacerations, chest injuries and head injuries”.

Meanwhile, two inquiries led by Police Scotland and the Air Accidents Investigation Brach (AAIB), have begun into the crash.

Officers conducting the investigation have asked for any footage of the incident to be emailed to:

The EC135 T2 aircraft, manufactured by Eurocopter, was loaded on to a lorry on Monday and taken to the AAIB base in Farnborough, Hampshire.

No 'mayday'

Beforehand, AAIB deputy chief inspector David Miller revealed that the pilot David Traill had not made a mayday call before its vertical descent.

He said: “I can confirm that the helicopter does not have a flight data recorder. However, it does have a significant number of modern electronic systems on board and it may be possible to recover recorded data from those systems.

“There were no emergency transmissions from the pilot before this accident.”

Mr Miller said nothing detached from the craft in flight before the crash.

Management of the incident scene has now been handed over from the emergency services to Glasgow City Council.

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