Police helicopter crashes ‘like a stone’ into Glasgow pub
A helicopter believed to be operated by the police crashed into the roof of a pub in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Friday, causing multiple injuries, lawmakers and witnesses said.
Firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the Clutha pub after the accident, which happened while the pub was full of revellers celebrating the start of the St Andrew’s Day weekend.
Jim Murphy, a Labour party member of parliament and opposition spokesman for international development, told the BBC he was driving through the area “just a few seconds after what seems like a helicopter has crashed into a pub”.
Murphy said he had seen “multiple injuries”.
“It’s a well established Glasgow pub. It’s a horrible horrible scene, but well done to the folk who were here. Everyone formed a chain of people from inside the pub to outside, and the fire brigade and everyone were here very quickly.”
Several pictures on social networks showed what appeared to be the wreckage of a dark-coloured helicopter with yellow police markings.
Part of the helicopter had apparently crashed through the roof of the one-storey pub.
A spokesman for the Police Roll of Honour Trust, a charity that keeps a record of officers killed in the line of duty, told AFP they believed it was a police helicopter but could not confirm.
The trust also tweeted: “Our thoughts are with the crew of @policescotland SP99 helicopter that has crashed in Glasgow — hoping everyone is alright”.
Gordon Smart, editor of the the Scottish edition of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, said he saw the accident and believed it was a police helicopter.
“It was just such a surreal moment. It looked like it was dropping from a great height at a great speed. I’m about 80 percent sure that it was a police helicopter,” he told Sky News.
“There was no fireball and I did not hear an explosion. It fell like a stone. The engine seemed to be spluttering.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by the helicopter crash in Glasgow – and the emergency services working tonight.”
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ?said it was “awful news”.
“Absolutely awful news about a helicopter crashing into the Clutha. All my thoughts are with everyone involved & the emergency services,” she tweeted.
Listen to a witnesses’ account of the incident, as posted by BBC World News Watch on Friday, below