Tuesday 21 November 2017

Eight killed as helicopter crashes into pub rooftop

Dozens taken to hospital as police search for survivors in the rubble

Emergency services at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow where a police helicopter crashed last night
Emergency services at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow where a police helicopter crashed last night

Russell Cheyne in GLASGOW

AT least eight people were killed and 32 injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a packed Glasgow pub, trapping many inside in choking dust and debris.

The death toll was expected to rise, Scottish police said.

Witnesses said the helicopter dropped from the sky like a stone on to the busy Clutha Pub in Scotland's biggest city at 10:25pm on Friday.

Yesterday, emergency workers were still searching through the rubble for survivors in the shadow of the mangled blue helicopter, which was embedded in the pub's roof.

Chief Constable of Police Scotland Stephen House told reporters that 32 people had been taken to hospital.

There were three people aboard the helicopter, two police officers and a civilian pilot, when it crashed.

As dawn broke, expert rescue teams and firefighters were labouring to make the pub safe and free anyone still under the rubble.

Mr House said the recovery operation would take some time.

The 12-metre helicopter spiralled into the pub in a busy area of Glasgow, destroying part of the roof.

"It was fairly busy, we were all having a nice time and then there was like a 'whoosh' noise," Grace MacLean, who was in the pub, said.

"There was no bang, no explosion, and then there was what seemed like smoke and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down, and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming, and the whole pub filled with dust and you couldn't see anything, you couldn't breathe."

John McGarrigle, 38, said an eyewitness told him that his father, also John McGarrigle, 59, was sitting "right in the spot" where the helicopter came down.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr McGarrigle said his father was "probably lying underneath that helicopter".

Sunday Independent

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