As it happened: Glasgow helicopter crash aftermath

Key Points

  • Eight people died after a police helicopter hit the pub on Stockwell Street at around 22:25 GMT on Friday
  • All three crew in the helicopter died. They were police officers Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis, and pilot David Traill
  • The other victim to be named was Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area
  • A further 12 people were treated in hospital for serious injuries
  • A service was held at Glasgow Cathedral where prayers are offered for the Clutha crash victims
  • Emergency services are continuing their operation after a police helicopter crashed into the busy pub

Join the discussion

  • Send us an SMS to 61124
  • Twitter: Tweet us

Comment here

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.
Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Terms and conditions


    A recovery operation is into its second day at the site of the helicopter crash in Glasgow. Eight people are known to have been killed when the police aircraft crashed into the Clutha bar.


    The three crew on board the police helicopter, and five more people inside the bar died. A further 14 people are being treated at hospitals in Glasgow.

    Gary Arthur

    One victim has been named by Police Scotland as Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area.


    Mr Arthur's daughter Chloe, 18, who has played for the Scotland and Celtic women's football teams, 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."


    Celtic women's manager David Haley said: "It is a tragedy that Chloe's father was one of eight innocent victims in this terrible accident - he was regularly seen at Celtic matches, watching his daughter.

    "Chloe and her family have the full support of everyone at Celtic and across the women's game at this very sad time."

    Clutha crash scene

    Here's an image of firefighters working at the Clutha Vaults crash site this morning.


    The Church of Scotland's Rev Dr Laurence Whitley, who is leading a service this morning at Glasgow Cathedral, said: "The main purpose of the service is for Glaswegians to come together and express their solidarity."


    Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said people in Glasgow had shown great spirit in the face of a dreadful tragedy.

    "These were the worst of circumstances on Friday night, but they have in some ways brought out the best of Glasgow. We saw people, when the helicopter crashed, not running away from a scene of potential danger, but running towards it to try to help people.

    "We've also seen health service workers turn up at work, even when they are not on duty, wanting to help. There were queues outside the blood donor centre in Glasgow yesterday morning, everybody just wants to do something to help."

    Breaking News

    It is being reported locally that two of the people killed in the crash are the helicopter's pilot David Traill and police officer Kirsty Nelis.

    Rev Laurence Whitley

    Rev Laurence Whitley, one of the chaplains who has been supporting the emergency workers at the scene, says they have been "extraordinarily brave and courageous," especially as they may have been dealing with people they had known for many years.

    "Often the public just see the equipment, the gear, the uniforms, and there's something almost automatic about it, but we are all human and we all have feelings," he said.


    Mr Whitley will also lead the service at Glasgow Cathedral later.

    "I'm privileged to have the opportunity to enable Glaswegians to come together and express solidarity with those who have been suffering and those who have been bereaved," he said.

    "Our purpose of the service, as well as to pray for them, is first to allow Glaswegians to come together and secondly, also to express appreciation and support for the emergency services who have done such a remarkable job."


    Air accident expert Prof Graham Braithwaite, of Cranfield University, says the official crash investigation, being led by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, could take more than a year.


    The Scottish Police Federation has released a statement expressing its condolences to the friends and families of the bereaved, "especially to the family, friends and colleagues of the air crew".


    Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty said: "Their loss will of course be most sorely felt by those who knew them but has already been felt across the policing world.

    "I am grateful for the messages of support and condolences that have come in from across the UK and from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. I am sure this will provide comfort to the families in the difficult times that lie ahead."


    Mr Docherty's statement adds: "Our members are unfortunately all to used to dealing with tragedy and delivering bad news but that they performed their duties so effectively in the face of certain knowledge they were dealing with the likely deaths of one of our own, is a testament to their sheer professionalism and is a credit to the whole of the police service."


    David Learmount, from the aviation news website Flight Global, says the crash "looked likely" to have been caused by a mechanical failure.

    Crash site

    Here's an aerial picture of the crash site this morning. A crane is in place, ready to remove the wreckage of the helicopter.


    Aviation expert Chris Yates tells the BBC that, after the helicopter is lifted from the building, it will be moved to a secure site for detailed investigation.


    A service is due to take place at Glasgow Cathedral in an hour's time at 11:00 GMT, where special prayers are to be said and candles lit. Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be among those attending.


    Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins will also attend the Church of Scotland service.

    Maureen McKenna Director of Education, Glasgow

    tweets: there's not enough space in tweets to express my pride in the people of Glasgow - services, Council, taxis, list is endless #Clutha


    The Herald publishes a piece from foreign editor David Pratt in which he reflects on the crash, saying: "I have witnessed no shortage of horrors. The last thing I expected was yet more of the same in my home city."

    The Custody Sgt

    tweets: Our friends in @policescotland & @Scotspolfed know we stand shoulder to shoulder with them and will #crosstheborder on their call.


    Helicopter operator Bond Air Services has said it was "deeply saddened" by the incident and is working with Police Scotland, other emergency services and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch into what caused the Eurocopter EC-135 to crash.


    tweets: Shad Foreign Sec .@DAlexanderMP says he was "hugely encouraged" and filled with "great pride" that Glasgow came together #Clutha #Murnaghan


    Consultant psychologist Dr David Purves, an expert in post-traumatic stress, says of those who were in the bar when the incident happened: "An accident like this literally shakes your world. It's really hard for your brain to make sense of what's happened - how you can go from being completely safe to completely vulnerable in a fraction of a second."

    Helicopter wreckage

    A rotor blade from the helicopter is removed from the scene by a crane.


    BBC reporter Huw Williams, at the scene, says about 40-50 bouquets of flowers have been laid along Stockwell Street, just outside the police cordon.

    Sunday Telegraph front page

    The scenes of devastation after the crash dominate the front pages of Sunday's papers. Read our full round-up here.

    Ewan, London

    emails: Having 2 minutes silence at 11 and I have just gone up to the church and lit a candle and heading up to the hospital later to pray for them. Very Sad News.

    Stranraer's Frank McKeown

    On Saturday, Stranraer captain and firefighter Frank McKeown played in a fourth-round Scottish Cup tie just hours after carrying out "traumatic" rescue duties at the crash scene.

    Mr McKeown was one of more than 100 firefighters working through the night at The Clutha pub, before playing against Clyde.

    Heather Burns

    tweets: Train entering Glasgow Central fell into stunned silence on seeing the Clutha crash scene.


    The BBC's Marianne Taylor says mourners are arriving at Glasgow's Church of Scotland Cathedral, "many dressed soberly in black", ahead of a special service, which is due to begin at 11:00 GMT.

    Police officer

    Police officers have been placing tributes from the public at a hotel next to the Clutha bar on the banks of the Clyde.


    Anas Sarwar, Labour MP for Glasgow Central, arrives at the cathedral ahead of the service, telling the BBC: "There was such a feeling of sadness yesterday and that has continued into today.

    "But despite the real tragedy involved, this service is yet another demonstration of how the people of Glasgow are pulling together."


    Ambulance workers and nursing staff from the nearby Glasgow Royal Infirmary have also arrived to attend the service at Glasgow's Church of Scotland Cathedral.

    Kirsty Nelis

    Here's a picture of police officer Kirsty Nelis, who is believed to have been killed in the crash.

    Janice Gentry, Queensland, Australia

    emails: Being a Glaswegian from way back I was saddened to see such an accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the people affected and the rescuers, God Bless.


    The memorial service has started at Glasgow Cathedral.


    First Minister Alex Salmond says the incident was the first major test of Scotland's new national police service and national fire and rescue service.

    He says: "I think, along with their colleagues in the ambulance and heath service, everyone knows and understands just how magnificent that response has been."

    Police Scotland

    tweets: CC Sir Stephen House & ACC Bernard Higgins attending #Clutha memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral this morning on behalf of @PoliceScotland

    Glasgow cathedral

    A view from inside Glasgow Cathedral, where the Sunday morning service has opened with the hymn Abide with Me.

    Scottish Fire - West

    tweets: Deputy Chief Officer Alex Clark @clark1163 attending #Clutha memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral this morning on behalf of Scottish FRS.


    At the cathedral, eight Sunday school children from the parish are now lighting candles in tribute to the people who have been affected by the crash.


    First Minister Alex Salmond, who formerly represented the oil and fishing constituency of Banff and Buchan, says: "I have met many people who've been through extraordinary things in the incidents that have occurred offshore, and there is a long-term effect.

    "It is important that people speak up and speak out and ask for help."

    Nicola Sturgeon

    The congregation at Glasgow Cathedral heard Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon read the Old Testament lesson from the book of Isaiah.


    Away from the cathedral, the Scottish government's resilience committee has continued to meet, to ensure a joined-up response from the emergency services and other agencies.

    Kenny MacAskill

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has read the Gospel.

    Sky nick pisa Sky News

    tweets: Esperanza band manager Gary Anderson in venue at time tells Sky "We are all very lucky to have escaped a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the injured, the missing, the deceased and the families and friends of all of them."

    Samantha sallows

    tweets: Busking today to raise funds for Glasgow Clutha victims &families. #buchananstreet1pm #sunday


    A book of condolence has been opened at the cathedral, Rev Laurence Whitley says.

    Partick Thistle FC

    tweets: There will be a minute's silence before today's game to commemorate those that sadly lost their lives at the #Clutha Vaults this weekend.

    Kath Shaw, Carlisle, England

    emails: Our hearts go out to the people of Glasgow. You should all be proud of your humanity, compassion and spirit at a time such as this. You will take strength from each other and please know you are all in our thoughts. It is just so very sad. From all your friends south of the border.

    Celtic FC Women

    tweets: Celtic players: 'As a team we will do what we do best and stand united beside Chloe and her family to help them in any way we can God bless'


    While the cathedral service continues, an ambulance surrounded by police bikes leaves the back of the crash site.


    First Minister Alex Salmond tells the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland that there's still an area of the pub which needs to be searched, and that people should be prepared for news of further deaths. He adds that, of those in hospital, three are in intensive care, in a "serious but stable" condition.

    David Cowan

    tweets: Survivor of Glasgow #helicoptercrash, just released from hospital, his head swaithed in bandages, has come back to leave flowers at scene.


    The memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral has now concluded.


    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont tells the BBC that she watched her son play his first gig in a pub just the other night. The Glasgow Pollok MSP said of the crash: "It feels just terribly sad."

    Scottish Police Federation

    tweets: Gen Sec Calum Steele describes the "big hearts of the people of #Glasgow" as "remarkable". "It does bring comfort to my colleagues" #Clutha

    Eight candles

    Eight candles were lit during the service in memory of the eight people who lost their lives.

    Bill Armstrong, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire

    emails: As a teenager this incident has hit me hard. It is heart breaking to see the scenes in Glasgow. I send my respects to all involved at this awful time for Scotland.


    Rev Laurence Whitley, who led the memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral, told the congregation: "Our great and vibrant and irrepressible city shall stand together with our suffering ones and hand in hand go forward into the light, into the light."

    Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (second right) and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill (right) attended the service at Glasgow Cathedral

    Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (second right) and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill (right) were among those that attended the service. Ms Sturgeon said it was a "very moving and poignant service".


    Glasgow City Council will open a Book of Condolence from 13:00-17:00 GMT for those involved in Friday night's helicopter crash. The book will be at the City Chambers in Glasgow city centre.


    After the cathedral service, Ms Sturgeon tells the BBC things are "very raw" in Glasgow and those affected will need love and support for many weeks and months ahead.


    A total of 12 people are still being treated in hospital for their injuries, three of which are in intensive care in a "serious but stable condition", First Minister Alex Salmond says.

    Scottish Fire - West

    tweets: We have read all the messages of thanks and support to SFRS although we've not been able to reply it is much appreciated. #Clutha


    Police Scotland are expected to make a statement from the scene of the helicopter crash within the next 30 minutes.

    Mike Wade

    tweets: 'I'm pretty fried' Pat O'Mara, ambulance chief, who knew the dead pilot, but worked through night at #clutha

    Craig Bain, aged 35 from Renfrew, pays respects at scene of crash

    Craig Bain, 35, from Renfrew, who was in the Clutha pub when the helicopter crashed, pays his respects at the scene.


    The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said the response from people wanting to help was such that it had to issue a plea on Twitter to stop the flow of donors to its doors. Dr Moira Carter, Scotland's national donor services manager, said: "Stocks of blood remain healthy in Scotland, so there is no major panic."


    The search and recovering operation is continuing at the site of the crash, where Police Scotland are due to hold a news briefing shortly.

    midge ure

    tweets: Proud of the way my fellow Glaswegians dealt with the immediate aftermath of the Clutha incident. Thoughts are with the families/loved ones


    Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick from Police Scotland says work has begun to remove the helicopter from the site, which is a "painstaking process" that will take some time to ensure the safety of the operation and those working tirelessly at the scene.


    Ms Fitzpatrick says the body of another person has been removed from the incident site at the Clutha and taken to hospital, where the formal process of identification will continue.

    Kenny Stewart

    tweets: Perfectly observed minute's silence at Thistle vs @AberdeenFC #Clutha

     David traill

    The helicopter's pilot David Traill, 51, who had previously served with the Royal Air Force, has been named locally as one of the victims.

    Football game

    Players and fans at this afternoon's Partick Thistle v Aberdeen game observed a minute's silence before kick off.


    The Book of Condolence at Glasgow City Chambers will be opened and signed by Lord Provost Sadie Docherty at 13:00 GMT.

    Council leader Gordon Matheson, Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will also sign the book before it is opened to the public.


    A recap of Sunday's update from Police Scotland. Speaking outside the Clutha pub, Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said the body of another person was removed from the site just after 11:00 GMT and has been taken to the Southern General Hospital to be formally identified.


    She said work had begun to remove the helicopter from the site, but was expected to take some time to ensure the safety of the operation and members of the emergency services and investigators.


    She also confirmed there had been eight fatalities and said 12 people remained in hospitals across Glasgow.


    Ms Fitzpatrick said the casualty bureau had already handled more than 600 calls and was working hard to piece together what had happened on Friday night. She also repeated the request for anyone who had information or footage of the incident to contact Police Scotland by calling 101.


    "Clearly the processes involved take time. However there are formal identification procedures that have to take place before we can publicly confirm identities and it is essential to ensure accuracy, and maintain sensitivity and dignity for the families of the deceased," she said.

    EMRS Scotland

    tweets: Our condolences to those who have lost loved ones at #Clutha. Our thoughts with the families of colleagues from our base who were involved.

    Clutha scene

    Scottish fire and rescue services look on as a section of the helicopter is removed from the scene.


    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde says 12 people are still in hospital, one of which is being treated in the spinal unit at the Southern General Hospital.


    The health authority says patients are being treated for a range of serious injuries, including bone fractures, spinal injuries, cuts chest injuries and head injuries.


    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde medical director, Dr Jennifer Armstrong, says: "Once again, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous reaction and response from our staff in responding to this incident.

    "Our staff train rigorously for such events, and these skills were required to be put into place following this tragic event.

    "The spirit of response from all of our staff shone through, with hundreds calling in from home or turning up at our hospitals to volunteer assistance."


    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is meeting one of the patients and NHS workers at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and is due to make a statement to the media outside at about 14:00, with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chairman Andrew Robertson.

    Kenny MacAskill MSP

    tweets: Glasgow cathedral service then signed book of condolence. A tragedy but humbled by work and humanity of emergency services and citizens.

    Robert Kennedy, Strathaven

    emails: My daughter Anne Marie is a barmaid at The Clutha, she was buried under the rubble but thankfully pulled out alive. She has a broken leg and a head injury but is going to be ok thank God. Thank you to everyone for there good wishes.

    Members of the public wait to lay flowers near to The Clutha bar in Stockwell Street

    Members of the public have been laying flowers near to the Clutha bar in Stockwell Street.


    Earlier on Sunday, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to the "heroics" of the Glasgow people and the work of the "truly exemplary" emergency services.


    It's emerged the Eurocopter EC-135 T2 involved in the pub crash was one of several which underwent safety checks as a precaution, in July last year.

    Police Scotland said it was tested on the advice of operator Bond Air Services, after Scotland's two air ambulance helicopters were suspended following a warning about their safety - but was not withdrawn from service.

    Amethyst Emz-Lou

    Quite teary hearing about the generosity of the ppl of Glasgow still helping, simple things like feeding the emergency services! #Clutha


    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the effort of staff working in hospitals in Glasgow has been "absolutely phenomenal".

    Nicola Sturgeon and Andrew Robertson

    Ms Sturgeon says the reaction of the workers typifies Glasgow's response to the "appalling tragedy".


    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chairman Andrew Robertson also praises the devotion and commitment of clinical workers, saying the critical incident training which the staff undergo "clicked in".


    Ms Sturgeon went on to say she had seen two injured patients in the hospital, who were both clearly upset and traumatised, but described themselves as lucky to be alive and expressed concerns for others.


    She revealed that unbeknown to her, one of the injured patients was someone she knew, which she said showed the "almost village-like feeling of Glasgow".


    Her overriding message was to say thank you to the emergency services, she said.


    Chris Greenhill, managing director of Bond Air Services which operated the helicopter, said the company, like so many others, were "devastated" by the incident.

    "It's had obviously a big impact on us. Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to all of those that have been affected by this tragic accident. We'd also like to record our praise and recognition of the emergency services and the very difficult circumstances they've had to work under," he said.


    Well-wishers continue to lay flowers near the scene of the accident.

    Twin Atlantic

    tweet: Very sad St Andrews weekend in Glasgow. Our thoughts go out to everyone involved with the #Clutha helicopter accident.


    Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House is due to speak to the media at approximately 15.15 GMT.


    Speaking after she visited Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had been "really humbled" by some of the stories she'd heard over the weekend.

    "I've spoken to health service staff who reported when they weren't even on duty, and those are stories that are replicated across the city. The public have been marvellous as well, from people who rushed to the scene on the Friday night... to folk queuing up to give blood yesterday morning."


    A minute's silence is being held before Celtic's Scottish Cup tie against Hearts at Tynecastle. A daughter of one of the victims - Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area - plays for the Celtic women and Scotland women's football team.


    Celtic manager Neil Lennon says of the helicopter crash: "It's horrific. It's hurt the city as a whole and when it's so close to home it really resonates with everyone.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful circumstance."

    Gary Arthur, David Traill and Kirsty Nelis

    Gary Arthur (left) is one of three of the eight people who died when a police helicopter crashed on the Clutha pub that have been named. The other two being reported locally are the helicopter's pilot David Traill, 51 (middle) and police officer Kirsty Nelis, 36 (right).

    Breaking News

    Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House confirms the names of the three members of the helicopter crew who died in the crash - police officers Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis, and pilot David Traill.


    Sir Stephen says he can't discount the possibility the number of overall fatalities may rise.


    Sir Stephen said both Constables Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis had been commended for different acts of bravery in the past.


    Sir Stephen says Captain Traill had worked with the police for more than four years and was "very much a part of our team".


    He said the helicopter was returning to Glasgow after an operation when it came down.

    James Cook BBC Scotland correspondent

    tweets: Police Scotland: "we cannot say about exact numbers" of dead. Cannot discount possibility of more bodies being found


    Chief Constable Sir Stephen House says of the members of the helicopter crew: "I'd like to pay tribute to all of them and the work and the work that they did over the years, keeping people safe across Scotland."


    He also spoke of the "awe-inspiring" work the emergency services were doing, carrying it out with "concern and consideration".


    The police helicopter was returning to Glasgow from an operation it had been deployed on when the crash happened, although police are not giving any details regarding the nature of that operation.


    Chief Constable Sir Stephen House is asked by journalists if there was a mayday call from the helicopter crew. He responds: "I won't mention that, at this moment in time."


    Constable Collins, the latest victim named after the police helicopter crashed into the Clutha bar on Friday night, was 43-years-old, police said.

    Scottish Police Federation

    tweets: We can confirm sad news that our colleagues Tony Collins & Kirsty Nelis were tragically killed in #Clutha heli crash. May they rest in peace


    Chief Constable Sir Stephen House again thanks those who are assisting in the operation, adding: "It's been a very difficult time for everybody involved in the situation."


    Wellwishers continue to lay flowers near the helicopter crash scene.

    crash scene

    As the light begins to fade, the operation to remove the wreckage of the helicopter is still under way.

    Fire Brigades Union Scotland

    tweets: FBU officials visited The Clutha bar to lay flowers on behalf of all FBU members. Proud of our members and all emergency services #Clutha


    We're going to bring today's live page coverage of the helicopter crash aftermath to a close. You can go here for the latest developments in the story.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.