Scotland mourns pub helicopter crash victims

Scotland mourns pub helicopter crash victims
Emergency services inspect the roof of a pub where a police helicopter crashed in central Glasgow, Scotland

GLASGOW - Mourners lit candles as Scotland remembered those who were killed when a police helicopter plunged through the roof of a Glasgow pub, killing at least nine people, police said Monday.

Emergency service workers earlier began attempts to winch the police aircraft back through the roof of The Clutha, where it is feared further corpses may be found under its carcass, further raising the death toll.

All three on board the helicopter and two men who were in the pub have been named.

More than 100 people were watching a Glaswegian ska band in the popular live music bar on Friday night when the unexplained disaster struck.

In sombre scenes, candles were lit in Glasgow Cathedral during a packed memorial service Sunday which also paid tribute to the rescue effort and remembered those injured.

Reverend Laurence Whitley told the congregation: "We do not end this day in despair and losses.

"Our great and vibrant and irrepressible city shall stand together with our suffering ones and hand in hand go forward into the light."

Ambulance workers in uniform sat in the pews, along with Scotland's police chief Stephen House.

He later had to announce the deaths of the helicopter crew: captain David Traill, 51, the pilot, and police constables Kirsty Nelis, 36, and 43-year-old Tony Collins. Both officers had previously been commended for bravery.

"I'd like to pay tribute to all of them and the work that they did over the years, keeping people safe across Scotland," said House.

The chief constable said the work to extract the helicopter was "painstaking".

"Until the helicopter is completely removed from the scene and the right people are in the premises and are able to look through the rubble completely and start to clear it, we cannot say about exact numbers (of deaths)," he said.

At The Clutha, cranes could be seen working on the wreckage of the riverside bar in the middle of Scotland's biggest city. One rotor blade was lifted out of the debris.

'I love you with all my heart'

Survivor Craig Bain, 35, his bowed head wrapped in white bandages, went straight from hospital back to the scene to lay flowers.

"I was in the pub when it happened," he told STV television, shaking and barely able to speak through tears.

"I just remember waking up and being pulled out by a fireman.

"There was a man on the news. His dad was right next to me. He was one of the dead," he said, overcome with emotion.

Besides the three helicopter crew, six people in the bar are so far known to have been killed.

The two officially named so far are Glasgow resident Samuel McGhee, 56, and Gary Arthur, 48, from the city's Paisley suburb.

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