At least three feared dead after police helicopter crashes into busy Glasgow pub

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Originally published on November 30, 2013

At least three people are feared dead and dozens more injured after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a busy pub in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday night.

The Eurocopter EC135 T2 helicopter was carrying three people - a civilian pilot and two police officers - when it came down on the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Stockwell Street at approximately 10.25pm.

Reports said there were more than one hundred people inside the pub listening to a band at the time of the incident.

Reuters reported that "Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said people should prepare for the likelihood of fatalities while emergency workers labored to free people trapped under rubble in the shadow of the mangled helicopter, which was embedded in the pub's roof.

"Visibly shaken eye witnesses described scenes of horror as the 12-metre (40 ft) helicopter with two police officers and a civilian pilot on board spiraled into the Clutha pub in a busy area of Scotland's biggest city, collapsing part of the roof.

"It was fairly busy, we were all having a nice time and then there was like a whoosh noise," Grace MacLean, who was in the pub at the time of impact, told the BBC.

"There was no bang, no explosion and then there was what seemed like smoke and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and the whole pub filled with dust and you couldn't see anything, you couldn't breath."

"Police said it was too early to speculate on what caused the Eurocopter EC135 T2 to smash into the pub. The helicopter did not appear to have caught fire.
"Scottish Police Service Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said she could only say that there were a number of casualties and that emergency workers were still trying to free people from the pub some five hours after the crash.

"One emergency worker said he had been in contact with people trapped at the scene."

Thirty-two people were taken to local hospitals for treatment to injuries.

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