The police helicopter crashed into the pub in Glasgow on Friday night, causing multiple injuries as dust and debris was thrown across the busy drinking hole during a concert, eye witnesses said.
Eight people have been confirmed dead and an additional 14 people remain hospitalized in “serious condition” a day after a Scottish police helicopter crashed into a crowded Glasgow pub, authorities said Saturday.
More than 100 rescue workers continued to sift through the dust and debris of the Clutha Vaults pub Saturday, pulling out pub-goers trapped since 10:30 p.m. local time Friday night after the copter crashed down on the roof.
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John McGarrigle junior, son of 59-year-old John McGarrigle senior, shows a camera phone picture of himself and his father, as he fears for his father’s well-being, who is missing after the Glasgow helicopter Clutha pub crash in Stockwell Street.
Chief Constable Stephen House said Saturday that all three passengers in the helicopter – a civilian pilot and two police officers – were killed in the crash. The constable struggled to contain his emotion as he called the fallen officers “our colleagues.”
Rescue workers survey the wreckage of a police helicopter which crashed onto the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow.
The remaining five fatalities were patrons of the Clutha Vaults, he said. Names of the eight victims were not immediately released.
House said that the police chopper is “dominating the whole space” within the one-story building, and that rescue workers must be extremely careful when trying to extricate possible survivors from the centuries-old pub.
Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue services at the scene Saturday, Nov. 30.
Authorities announced that it is too early to speculate over the cause of the deadly crash, but that a full investigation is forthcoming.
Part of the helicopter tail fin and rotor is seen after the wind has blown off the sheet covering the scene on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Revelers at the popular live music spot had been enjoying a local Ska band, Esperanza, when the helicopter crumpled on the roof, on the eve of Scotland’s national holiday, St. Andrew’s Day.
Witnesses said that band members, unaware of the danger, began cracking jokes.
Glasgow resident Paul Watt, 48, crouches near a police cordon in Glasgow on November 30, 2013 erected around the site where during the night a police helicopter crashed through the roof of a pub, at which he was a regular customer.
Grace Mclean, who was watching the show with a friend, said one of the band members paused after the impact and said, “‘We didn’t think we were going to bring the roof down.”
A Scottish police officer at the scene on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, following a helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland.
The band later posted an update to their Facebook page thanking first responders and calling Friday’s tragic events as “horribly real.”
Britain’s top figures were quick to express their sympathy to the victims of the tragic event, with Queen Elizabeth II offering her thoughts and prayers to families affected by the crash, and Prime Minister David Cameron offering aid to the Scottish government “in any way.”
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond deemed it “a black day for Glasgow and for Scotland,” noting that the tragedy occurred on the eve of the country’s national holiday.
Though the area around the bar was cordoned off by police, onlookers – many of them visually upset — huddled around the barriers looking for missing family members.
John McGarrigle, 38, told reporters he believed his father, also named John McGarrigle, 59, was sitting at his normal spot in the bar. “His friend told me…he was gone. There was nothing left where he’d been sitting.”
With News Wire Services