Pub search proceeds as helicopter wreck removed

The bodies of nine people killed when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a busy pub have been recovered, as investigators revealed that no mayday call was made from the aircraft.

Pub search proceeds as helicopter wreck removed

The bodies of nine people killed when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a busy pub have been recovered, as investigators revealed that no mayday call was made from the aircraft.

Air accident investigators said the helicopter made a vertical descent onto the Clutha bar in Glasgow on Friday night and that the pilot made no emergency call.

The wreckage of the three-tonne Eurocopter has been removed from the building in a painstaking operation which allowed emergency services to search the area inside the bar.

The helicopter has been loaded on to a lorry and is destined for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) base in Farnborough, Hampshire.

All three of the helicopter’s crew died when it landed on the popular bar as it returned from a police operation at 10.25pm. Six people inside the packed pub were also killed.

Five crash victims have been named so far.

They are pilot David Traill, 51, who died along with police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Two victims who were inside the pub have been named as 48-year-old Gary Arthur, from Paisley, and Samuel McGhee, 56, from Glasgow.

Immediately after the crash 32 people were taken to hospital. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said 12 remain in three hospitals across the city.

An investigation into what caused the helicopter to drop out of the sky “like a stone” is under way.

David Miller, deputy chief inspector of the AAIB, said: “There were no emergency transmissions from the pilot before this accident. 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.”

Earlier today two private ambulances left the scene of the tragedy an hour after the fuselage was winched out of the roof.

Firefighters, ambulance staff and police officers formed a guard of honour at the site as the vehicles passed them.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said the body of the ninth person was removed from the scene and taken to Southern General Hospital for identification.

Rescuers had to contend with large amounts of rubble inside the building, caused by the collapse of three roof structures and walls inside the pub.

There has been some criticism of the speed of the rescue operation from the families of those still missing.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael paid tribute to the courage and character of the people of Glasgow and signed a book of condolence at the council’s headquarters.

The city council has pledged that financial help will be provided to anyone in hardship as a result of the tragedy.

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