Eight killed as Scottish helicopter crashes into pub

Eight killed as Scottish helicopter crashes into pub

GLASGOW - Eight people were killed when a police helicopter crashed through the roof of a packed Glasgow pub, police said on Saturday, plunging Scotland into mourning on its national day.

Fourteen people lay seriously injured in hospitals across Scotland's biggest city after the chopper smashed into The Clutha pub, where over 100 people had been watching a band play on Friday night.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond called it a "black day" and ordered flags to fly at half-mast, while a minute's silence was held ahead of a football match between Falkirk and Rangers.

While Scotland should have been celebrating St Andrew's Day emergency services were combing through the rubble and friends and relatives were praying their loved ones were not among the dead.

Police later named the first victim as Gary Arthur, 48, from Glasgow.

Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House said the two officers and the civilian pilot aboard the police helicopter were killed along with five people inside the pub.

"You can imagine the terror of the situation when a helicopter came through the top of the building," he said.

House said the rescue mission was complex and would take time, adding that he did not know if there were more people trapped inside.

"We are dealing with a very sensitive investigation and operation here. It will go on for many days yet," Scotland's police chief told reporters at the scene.

Police later appealed for anyone with video footage of the crash to send it to them, saying it "may be of help to the team as they investigate the cause of the crash."

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