Police helicopter crashes into Scottish pub, killing 8

Rescue workers cover the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow, Scotland. Credit: Reuters
Rescue workers cover the wreckage of a police helicopter that crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow, Scotland.
Credit: Reuters

Eight people were killed and 14 others seriously injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a packed Glasgow pub, trapping many inside in choking dust and debris, Scottish police said on Saturday,

Witnesses said the helicopter dropped from the sky like a stone onto the busy Clutha Pub in Scotland’s biggest city on Friday night while more than 100 people were crammed inside, listening to a live music concert.

The helicopter crew – two police officers and the civilian pilot – were among the dead and the others were discovered inside the wreckage of the building, Chief Constable of Police Scotland Stephen House told reporters. He said 14 others remained in hospital with serious injuries.

The 40-foot helicopter – a twin-engine Eurocopter EC135 T2, made by a subsidiary of EADS – spiraled into the pub in the center of Glasgow, destroying part of the roof.

The mangled wreckage remained embedded in the middle of the building as the search continued through Saturday.

“We are still in … a rescue and recovery situation,” House said. “Until the helicopter is out of the way we won’t know what … is going on underneath.”

Immediately after the crash, revelers caked in dust and blood rushed out into the street. Passers-by including the local member of parliament formed a human chain to bring out the injured from the building.

“It was fairly busy; we were all having a nice time and then there was like a ‘whoosh’ noise,” Grace MacLean, who was in the pub at the time, told the BBC.

“There was no bang, no explosion, and then there was what seemed like smoke, and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down, and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming, and the whole pub filled with dust and you couldn’t see anything, you couldn’t breathe.”

‘Black day for Scotland’

Tearful relatives and friends of those caught up in the incident gathered during the day, some laying flowers at the scene, and Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister David Cameron were among those to express their sympathy.

“This is a black day for Glasgow and for Scotland,” said Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, noting that Saturday was St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national day.

Celebrations in Glasgow were canceled, flags were flown at half-staff on government buildings, and a special service was held at Glasgow’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

Police said it was too early to speculate on what caused the Eurocopter, popular with emergency services worldwide, to come down. Witnesses said it did not appear to have caught fire.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch began an inquiry and Eurocopter said its experts were on standby to help.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said safety issues had to be examined after a number of fatal helicopter crashes in recent years.

In August, four people were killed when a Super Puma L2, also made by Eurocopter, crashed into the sea off Scotland’s Shetland Islands with oil workers on board, the fifth accident in four years in the area involving different models of the aircraft. Investigators said there was no evidence of mechanical failure.

“Whilst there will be understandable questions on why this happened, it is our experience that speculation about causes is often wide of the mark,” BALPA said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, trends in helicopter safety (are) a matter of concern after a number of recent incidents.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…