November 30, 2013

Police helicopter crashes into roof of Glasgow pub killing eight, injuring dozens

Rescue workers are at the scene looking for survivors.

By Cassandra Vinograd And Ben Mcconville
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue services at the scene Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, following the helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish emergency workers were sifting through wreckage Saturday for survivors of a police helicopter crash onto a crowded Glasgow pub that has killed at least one person and injured more than two dozen. The Clutha pub, near the banks of the River Clyde, was packed Friday night and a ska band was in full swing when the chopper slammed through the roof. The number of fatalities is expected to rise, officials said.

The Associated Press

The crash Friday at around 10:30 p.m. sent dozens of patrons fleeing through a cloud of dust. Witnesses spoke of people streaming out of the building covered in blood, with gashes and other injuries.

Local resident Paul Dundas, 26, told how he heard a loud bang and looked out of his window to see a plume of dust rising above the pub.

“At first I thought it was a firework,” he said, describing the “horrible scene” he discovered upon going down to the street level.

“People were covered in blood and dust. Other people were dragging them away from the bar and trying to get them out,” he said. “Everyone was in shock, but people were helping and asking strangers if they were OK. I saw a couple help each other clean up their faces.

The twin-engine Eurocopter is widely used by police and ambulance services.

In 2007, a Eurocopter EC135 T2 crashed in southern England. The pilot and his wife were unhurt, but the aircraft was badly damaged. Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said there had been a failure of the autotrim system which maintains the aircraft’s position. The agency recommended changes to correct the problem.

Esperanza, the band which was playing in The Clutha when the crash occurred, joined in the heaps of praise showered on rescue officials.

“Waking up and realizing that it is all definitely horribly real,” the band wrote on its official Facebook page. “Despite the situation everyone was so helpful and caring of each other. The police, ambulances, firefighters all did a stellar job and continue to do so today.”

Glasgow, a city of about 600,000 people, has transformed its traditional image of being a rough and tumble city to one with a vibrant music and arts scene. It was also among the cities that hosted Olympic soccer matches in 2012 and will hold the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Cassandra Vinograd reported from London.

Follow Vinograd at http://twitter.com/CassVinograd

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