Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Police chopper crashes into Glasgow pub

30 November 2013, 08:57

Glasgow - A police helicopter smashed through the roof of a crowded pub in the Scottish city of Glasgow, causing numerous casualties including probable deaths and leaving several people trapped in the rubble, officials said on Saturday.

Emergency services said they had been in contact with an unknown number of people inside the wreckage of the Clutha Pub, where more than 100 revellers had been listening to a band before the freak accident on Friday night.

Witnesses said they saw the chopper dropping like a stone from the sky, while people inside the pub heard a whooshing sound before the roof caved in and the air filled with dust and screams.

'Tragic accident'

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed that a police helicopter had been involved in the "tragic accident", adding: "Given an incident of this scale we must all prepare ourselves for the likelihood of fatalities."

Police said there were two police officers and a civilian pilot on board the Eurocopter EC135 helicopter but did not give details of their condition, and said it was too early to say what caused the crash.

Fire brigade officer Lewis Ramsay told reporters that "fire crews have been in contact with people trapped within Clutha bar and have also rescued numerous casualties".

There were "multiple types of injuries" among those who had been rescued, he said.

Ramsay said that 125 firefighters were "working to make sure the building is safe to get people out" and that the building was "very unsafe".

An AFP photographer at the scene said the helicopter appeared to have smashed through the top of the single-storey pub on the banks of the River Clyde, with a rotor blade sticking out of the roof.

Dozens of firefighters and paramedics were swarming around the scene, with emergency services also apparently securing the building with cables and a cherry-picker.

Police officer Rose Fitzgerald said it was too early to say why the helicopter crashed.

"I can confirm there are a number of casualties but it is too early at this stage to provide further details. We will provide further updates at the appropriate time," she said.

'Whoosh' noise

Witnesses told of confusion, terror and then bravery after the accident.

Grace MacLean, who was inside the pub at the time of the crash, told BBC News that the revellers were listening to a Ska band at the time.

"We were all just having a nice time and then there was like a 'whoosh' noise - there was no bang, there was no explosion," she said.

"And then there was some smoke, what seemed like smoke. The band were laughing and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down.

"They carried on playing and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and then the whole pub just filled with dust. You couldn't see anything, you couldn't breathe."

The band, Esperanza, later said on their Facebook page that they were all well.

Jim Murphy, a Labour party member of parliament and spokesperson for international development, told the BBC he was driving through the area shortly after the incident.

"I jumped out and tried to help. There were people with injuries. Bad gashes to the head. Some were unconscious. I don't know how many," he said.

He said he and other people formed a human chain to get survivors out of the pub.

"The helicopter was inside the pub. It's a mess. I could only get a yard or two inside. I helped carry people out."


Gordon Smart, editor of the the Scottish edition of Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper, said he saw the helicopter coming down.

"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% 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."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...