Home news Clutha investigation into helicopter accidents hears emotional honors from families of victims

Clutha investigation into helicopter accidents hears emotional honors from families of victims

  1. ITV report

Moving honors from family members of the victims of a police helicopter accident were heard on the first day of a fatal accident investigation (FAI).

The pilot, two crew members and seven customers at the Clutha bar in Glasgow were killed when the Police Scotland plane crashed on the roof of the building on November 29, 2013.

Sheriff head Craig Turnbull led a minute's silence for the tributes in a temporary court in Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Pub clients Mark O & Prey, Gary Arthur, John McGarrigle, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker died, while pilot David Traill and crew Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis also died in the crash.

Mary Kavanagh & # 39; s partner Robert Jenkins died on the night of the crash. Credit: ITV News

Mary Kavanagh, Robert Jenkins' partner, was at the bar that night and knows the full impact it has had on her and many others since then.

"It is something that should never have happened and it is because it happened that completely changed my life and I would say the life of everyone who was in that pub that night," Kavanagh told ITV News.

Mrs Kavanagh believes that the investigation has not been transparent so far and hopes that the investigation will change that.

"What I want more than anything is the answers that come out of the investigation if honest answers and the investigation of fatal accidents is transparent."

The helicopter's wreck was clearly lifted after the crash. Credit: PA

Personal statements about some of those who died were read as a tribute to them.

A tribute was read for the victim, Mr. Jenkins, who talked about the pain his partner, Mrs. Kavanagh, had suffered after he had been in the pub on the ill-fated night.

It said, "They were only in the bar for 40 minutes when the tragedy struck.

"All Mary Kavanagh wants to know is why she went into that bar with the man she spent the rest of her life with and came out alone."

Kerry McGhee described her father Samuel McGhee as a hard worker who was "very social" with "many friends."

A statement from Colin Gibson's family said, "If you were lucky enough to meet him, you knew you had it while he made a lasting impression on you."

The sisters of Gary Arthur told the investigation in a statement: "Nothing will ever bring our brother back, but hopefully we will finally have the chance to find the closure.

"We want to remember Gary as a beloved person and not just a victim of the Clutha."

Mark O & # 39; Prey & # 39; s father, Ian, described his son as "amazing" who died in a location that the whole family would visit.

He added: "I had three children, now I only have two daughters.

"He was a wonderful son who loved life and lived it to the fullest.

"I just hope that this hearing will come to some truth and I wish it well."

The fatal accident investigation into the Clutha disaster, in which 10 people were killed, started on Monday morning. Credit: PA

The first person to give testimony was witness Andrew Bergin.

The 30-year-old lawyer from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, told how he walked on the river in the night in question.

He said about the helicopter: "It made what I can only describe as a sputtering noise. It was no lower than I had seen it before.

"It immediately seemed to lose height as soon as the sputtering took place.

"Everything happened more or less at the same time."

Brian Stewart, 50, was on Dyer & # 39; s Lane when his attention was drawn to the helicopter.

The Glasgow electric production operator said, "I heard that sound came out, it looked a bit like blocking your car if you have it in the wrong gear and it struggles, a bit like that.

"The engine started to mow. It happened a few times when it fell on Turnbull Street behind the building in front of me.

"That's where I last saw it."

Ten people died after a police helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub in Glasgow. Credit: PA

Ernest Doherty had finished his work on Buchanan Street when a sound came from above.

He was the last eyewitness to prove the investigation.

The 64-year-old from South Lanarkshire said, "It made a sound like an old car trying to start but trying to start a thousand times louder.

& # 39; When I looked up above the buildings of the Briggait, I saw the helicopter come down past the church. & # 39;

The purpose of the FAI is to determine the cause of the deaths, to determine whether they could have been prevented and to enable the sheriff to make recommendations that could prevent fatalities in similar circumstances.

The research takes place at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Credit: PA

More than 100 people were in the Clutha Vaults pub when the helicopter, returning to its base on the banks of the River Clyde, crashed through the roof.

A report from the Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) published in 2015 showed that two fuel supply switches were off and that the pilot did not follow emergency procedures following a fuel warning in the cockpit.

The Crown Office said earlier that there is insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings.

Fifty-eight Crown witnesses are expected to testify at the investigation, down from an earlier estimate of 85.

The police have made more than 2,000 statements as part of preparations for the FAI, while the Crown has around 1,400 productions.

The investigation continues on Tuesday.

Last updated on Monday, April 8, 2019

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