Tuesday 12 December 2017

Two police officers and a poet among helicopter dead

Ian Johnston

The victims of the Glasgow police helicopter crash included a "highly professional" helicopter pilot, "a smashing lad" who helped his daughter to become a Scottish international footballer, and a female police officer described as "a beautiful friend".

Police formally identified the three crew members of the helicopter who died when it plunged through the roof of The Clutha Bar on Friday night as pilot Captain David Traill, (51), and police officers Kirsty Nelis (36), and Tony Collins (41), who had both been previously commended for bravery.

Gary Arthur (48), from the Paisley area, has also been named by police as one of at least five people in the bar who died, but others including poet John McGarrigle (59), were identified by friends and relatives.

LOVELY

Jeanette Retson, a friend of Captain Traill, said he was "a lovely person". "I knew David was working with the police force and all day yesterday I was just hoping it wasn't him that was in it (the helicopter)," she said. "But I found out this morning. I'm so sorry, so sad ... He loved his work. I am proud to know David Traill."

Captain Traill served in the RAF and was a flying instructor at RAF Odiham in Hampshire before he became a civilian pilot.

A policeman escorts a young boy as he lays flowers near The Clutha Bar.
A policeman escorts a young boy as he lays flowers near The Clutha Bar.
Rescue workers cover the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow, Scotland November 30, 2013. The police helicopter crashed into the pub in Glasgow on Friday night, causing multiple injuries as dust and debris was thrown across the busy drinking hole during a concert, eye witnesses said. Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, said people should prepare for the likelihood of fatalities. Three people were on board the helicopter, police said. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Emergency services remove the helicopter's wreckage from the roof of the pub.
Rescue workers cover the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow, Scotland November 30, 2013. The police helicopter crashed into the pub in Glasgow on Friday night, causing multiple injuries as dust and debris was thrown across the busy drinking hole during a concert, eye witnesses said. Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, said people should prepare for the likelihood of fatalities. Three people were on board the helicopter, police said. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Undated handout photo issued by Police Scotland of Gary Arthur who is one of the people who died when a police helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow.
Paul Watt, a regular at the Clutha pub, reacts at the police cordon set up around the site of a helicopter crash on the Clutha in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, November 30, 2013. One person has been confirmed dead and over 30 injured after a police helicopter carrying two officers and a civilian pilot crashed on to the roof of a busy pub yesterday night. Watt was working yesterday evening, so he had not gone to the Clutha. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
An officer walks past a police cordon set up around the site of a helicopter crash on a pub in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, November 30, 2013. One person has been confirmed dead and over 30 injured after a police helicopter carrying two officers and a civilian pilot crashed on to the roof of a busy pub yesterday night. Part of the crashed aircraft are covered by the tarpaulin behind. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Members of the emergency services walk next to a police cordon set up around the site of a helicopter crash on a pub in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, November 30, 2013. One person has been confirmed dead and over 30 injured after a police helicopter carrying two officers and a civilian pilot crashed on to the roof of a busy pub yestredaay night. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
A street is cordoned off around the site of a helicopter crash on a pub in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, November 30, 2013. One person has been confirmed dead and over 30 injured after a police helicopter carrying two officers and a civilian pilot crashed on to the roof of a busy pub yesterday night. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Rescue workers examine the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow, Scotland November 30, 2013.
Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue services at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Ambulance crew at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Emergency services at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow where a police helicopter crashed last night. One person has died and the number is expected to rise after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a crowded pub. A major incident was declared after the helicopter came down on top of the Clutha bar in Glasgow at 10.25pm yesterday. About 120 people are thought to have been inside the pub when the roof collapsed. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Ambulance crews at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Scottish Fire and Rescue firefighters and USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) teams at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
John McGarrigle talks to reporters about his missing father John McGarrigle senior, near the site of a helicopter crash in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, November 30, 2013. John senior was in the Clutha pub last night and his son has searched every hospital for him without success. One person has been confirmed dead and over 30 injured after a police helicopter carrying two officers and a civilian pilot crashed on to the busy Clutha pub yesterday night. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Rescue workers examine the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow
Ambulance crew at the scene of a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow.
Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue service at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow where a police helicopter crashed last night. One person has died and the number is expected to rise after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a crowded pub. A major incident was declared after the helicopter came down on top of the Clutha bar in Glasgow at 10.25pm yesterday. About 120 people are thought to have been inside the pub when the roof collapsed. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

He had worked with the police for about four years.

Speaking to journalists outside a memorial service held at Glasgow Cathedral, Pat O'Meara, of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said he had flown with Captain Traill and described him as "a very pleasant person, a decent man, highly professional".

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said Captain Traill and the two police officers had "worked to keep us safe". "Their families can take pride in the service they have shown the people of Scotland," he said.

PC Nelis reportedly received a bravery award in 2003 after tackling a man with a hammer while trapped in a lift with him in Greenock.

Chloe Arthur (18), who plays for Celtic's women's football team and has been capped for Scotland under-19s, wrote on Twitter: "RIP dad, you'll always mean the world to me. I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart."

John Lyon, a friend of Mr Arthur, described him as a "smashing lad" who was "a really talented footballer" when he was younger and had helped his daughter's career.

Irish Independent

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