Glasgow & West Scotland

Eyewitnesses: Glasgow pub helicopter crash

A police helicopter has crashed into the Clutha pub in Stockwell Street on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow. Here are eyewitness accounts of the incident.

Fraser Gibson was inside the pub

"It sounded like a giant explosion. Part of the room was covered in dust. We didn't know what had happened. We froze for a second; there was panic and then people trying to get out the door. I would say there was maybe 120 people inside the pub. A lot of people managed to get out straight away, but it was hard to tell how many were actually trapped in the other half of the bar. The roof had just totally collapsed, there were shards of wood sticking out the top but nothing that said there had been a helicopter crash."

Claire Morris lives near the Clutha bar

"We heard this bang. We didn't really know what had happened and then we heard people coming out and screaming. I wasn't sure whether there had been an explosion. My daughter said to me it was a helicopter that had hit the roof. Police are everywhere. We are just very shaken."

Labour MP Jim Murphy was driving near the pub

"I don't know how to describe this apart from tell you what I saw at the time. It's just a pile of people clambering out of a pub, the dust, no smoke, no fire but huge dust and people covered in dust and multiple injuries. It's a bit of a blur but what happened is people just formed, if you like, a little bit of a human chain, side-by-side with each, to help pull injured people out and just pass one person, just pass the person from one another to each other so that people could be taken free from the danger and hopefully for hospital treatment."

Scottish Sun editor Gordon Smart was in a nearby car park

"I was on the phone at the time and I heard a misfiring engine, looked above me, couldn't work out where it was coming from. It got louder and louder and spotted a helicopter falling from the sky. It must have been 500 yards up. It was only 200 yards away from me. It was falling at great speed. It looked like the rotas weren't spinning. The helicopter was sort of turning in a strange position and dropping at great speed. Oddly enough there was no explosion, no fireball, and so I was sort of stunned for a moment and then tried to get out of the car park as quickly as I could and see what had happened."

Robert Przepiorka was in a flat close to the scene

"We heard a big bang; kind of sounded like a large firework. I went to check it out and it looked like the roof had blown off. The emergency services came about a minute later. There was lots of screaming and people outside the pub. It's clearly a police helicopter - you can see the police lettering - and there's numerous fire trucks, police vehicles, ambulances around."

Grace MacLean was inside the pub

"There is like a whoosh noise. There was no bang. There was no explosion. Then there was some smoke, what seemed like smoke, so the band were laughing and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down and at the time they carried on playing. Then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and then the whole pub filled with dust like you couldn't see anything, you couldn't breathe."

Graeme Campbell lives nearby

"All I heard was just this loud bang. It was really so loud. Initially, I first thought it would have been a car crash or something. But three minutes, five minutes later, ran straight into the living room and just seen so many emergency services - and people quite frantic and stuff."

Brendan Riordan was inside the pub

"I heard a very loud bang before a cloud of dust filled the pub. After I exited the pub I saw people coming out covered in blood and covered in dust. There were people quite desperate and just before I left the inside of the pub I noticed that the ceiling had fallen towards the bar. People were not aware that a helicopter had crash-landed on the pub."

John McGarrigle fears for the safety of his father, who was in the pub on Friday night

"I think he was in there when it crashed. I've checked every hospital and there's no sign of him. I'm very anxious. I'm just going to stand here (at the police cordon) till I see casualties come out of the building."

Edward Waltham was walking towards the pub

"I was heading into the pub to meet a friend who went just a few minutes before me and unfortunately was in the pub when the incident happened and I was making my way along to meet him. I was only 50 metres away when I heard the explosion which stopped me in my tracks. When I looked up there was a very obvious cloud of smoke and I could see it was coming from the Clutha pub. At that point I just ran towards the pub."

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