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Salvage operation ends as Scotland helicopter is removed

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 09:38

Glasgow: The search and recovery operation carried out after a police helicopter smashed through the roof of a Glasgow pub has concluded, with the final death toll standing at nine, police said.

Three people on board the helicopter were killed and six died in the Clutha pub, where around 120 people were watching a performance by a ska band when the aircraft plunged on to the building on Friday evening.

The craft was pulled free of the devastated building earlier on Monday.

Police in Scotland confirmed that all the bodies had been removed, but only five had been identified.

Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said, "I can confirm that the search and recovery operation has now concluded and we are satisfied there are no further fatalities at the scene. In total, nine people died as a result of the incident.

"We are working hard to formally identify the remaining victims as soon as possible in order to bring some certainty to the families.

"It has been a difficult and complex recovery operation, made the more challenging for those in the emergency services who have been working at the scene who have also lost their colleagues and friends.

Pilot David Traill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, were travelling in the helicopter when it came down. All three died.

Two victims who were inside the pub have been named as Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, and Samuel McGhee, 56, from Glasgow, leaving four unidentified casualties.

Eleven people remain in hospital, according to police.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief officer David Goodhew described how crews had tunnelled under the aircraft to try to find any casualties underneath.

Goodhew said the flat-roofed pub had been "totally devastated", complicating the rescue workers` task.

"It`s totally unrecognisable in most parts," he said.

"There`s a large amount of debris that`s underneath the helicopter and therefore you have to dig in slowly and methodically."

The blue and yellow fuselage of the three-tonne Eurocopter helicopter was still largely intact as it was winched out of the building, supporting one theory that it came to rest on the building before the roof gave way.


First Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 09:38

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