Police attempt to trace Clutha crash witnesses

Prince Charles meets air ambulance paramedics at a reception at the City Chambers in Glasgow. Picture: PA
Prince Charles meets air ambulance paramedics at a reception at the City Chambers in Glasgow. Picture: PA
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POLICE officers have been out in force in Glasgow in a bid to trace fresh witnesses to the helicopter crash which last week claimed the lives of nine people.

The aircraft fell from the sky “like a stone” on the Clutha Vaults pub in Stockwell Street at 10.25pm last Friday.

More than 100 people had been inside at the time – six of them were killed along with two officers and a civilian pilot who were on board the police chopper.

Last night’s appeal came just hours after Prince Charles visited the remains of the Clutha and spoke to survivors who returned to the site for the first time, with one man on crutches.

Owner Alan Crossan said he invited Charles to visit the bar when it reopens for some “Scottish music and a pint”.

The Prince spent around ten minutes in the bar and heard about the complex rescue and recovery operation from members of the emergency services, met hospital staff who treated casualties and signed a book of condolence at the City Chambers during the two-and-a-half hour visit to Glasgow.

He also received a warm hug from eight-year-old Megan Faulds, the granddaughter of crash survivor Ann Faulds.

Ms Faulds said: “She wanted to ask him about baby George but she was a bit lost for words.”

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: “For me, him coming here was a mark of the respect that he has for the city and for those who lost their lives.

“He spoke to members of the emergency services, with council staff and with those who lost loved ones.

“It’s very appreciated by the city, a city that is grieving.”

An investigation to establish the circumstances leading up to the crash is under way by Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has also started investigating the wreckage of the helicopter.

Police said the aircraft had travelled to the Gorbals area of Glasgow near to Aikenhead Road at about 8.47pm last Friday. It then travelled to the east before returning to Glasgow.

The route back to Glasgow took it over the Bothwell and Bargeddie areas. Around 10.20pm the helicopter was near to the Shettleston area of Glasgow.

The last series of sightings of the helicopter was in and around the Stockwell Street and King Street areas of Glasgow city centre shortly before the crash happened.

Detective superintendent Robbie Allan, senior investigating officer, said: “As is standard procedure in all major investigations, officers are at the scene one week on from the incident in an effort to trace witnesses and speak to anyone who may have been in the area seven days earlier.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland, by calling 101.

Capital offered help to Glasgow after tragedy

CITY chiefs pledged resources to their counterparts in Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of the Clutha Bar disaster.

Council leader Andrew Burns has revealed chief executive Sue Bruce contacted Glasgow City Council to offer help and assistance hours after the crash last Friday night.

He said the offer was not taken up because the local authority and emergency services had “coped very well” with the tragedy.

Councillor Burns, who originally hails from the west coast, offered his condolences to victims’ families and everyone affected by the crash.

He said: “My heart goes out to everyone who was affected. Our chief executive Sue Bruce was in touch with [her counterpart] George Black almost immediately on Saturday offering help and assistance. I don’t think that was taken up because they seemed to have been, in all circumstances, very well prepared and coped with it very well.”