Cathedral service for Glasgow helicopter crash victims

Victims of the Glasgow helicopter crash will be remembered at a service in the city’s cathedral, as the rescue and recovery operation continues.

Cathedral service for Glasgow helicopter crash victims

Victims of the Glasgow helicopter crash will be remembered at a service in the city’s cathedral, as the rescue and recovery operation continues.

Special prayers are to be said and candles will be lit at Glasgow Cathedral.

Emergency services are still working to recover bodies from the Clutha Vaults pub in Stockwell Street close to the city centre.

At least eight people – including the civilian pilot and two police officers - were killed when the police helicopter crashed into the building on Friday evening. Another 14 people are in hospital with serious injuries.

Police Scotland have so far named only one of the victims as Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area.

His daughter, Celtic and Scottish women’s footballer Chloe Arthur, 18, 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.

”Thanks to everyone who has tweeted me, text me etc, means so much, I have the most amazing friends ever.”

John McGarrigle, 38, said an eyewitness had told him that his father, also John McGarrigle, 59, had also been killed.

“Extensive efforts continue to recover the remaining bodies from the scene but due to ongoing safety constraints this is likely to take some time,” a Police Scotland spokesman said.

Witnesses said the Eurocopter EC135 T2 came down “like a stone” from the sky, hitting the roof of the Clutha when more than 100 people were inside the bar.

Police have launched a major investigation under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Members of the public formed a human chain to help remove those inside the popular music venue in Stockwell Street after the crash.

The area around the bar remains cordoned off as emergency services carry out a “rescue and recovery” operation.

Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, said rescuers are working in a “complicated and dangerous” environment, and that the rescue operation will go on for many days yet.

It is not known how many people are still in the building.

“Until [the helicopter] is out of the way, we won’t know everything that is going on underneath the helicopter. We simply can’t say what the situation is at this moment definitively.”

Grace MacLean, inside the pub at the time of the crash, said it was busy with people listening to a ska band.

“We were all just having a nice time and then there was like a whoosh noise. There was no bang, there was no explosion. And then there was some smoke, what seemed like smoke,” she told BBC News.

“The band were laughing and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down.

“They carried on playing and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and then the whole pub just filled with dust. You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t breathe.”

Nine-piece Glasgow ska band Esperanza were on stage when the helicopter hit the roof.

Writing on their Facebook page, the band said they were “waking up and realising that it is all definitely horribly real”.

Helicopter operator Bond Air Services said it was “deeply saddened” by the incident and is working with Police Scotland, other emergency services and the Air Accident Investigation Branch as the investigations into what caused it get under way.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox