Emmerdale on-screen helicopter crash angers Clutha Vault disaster victims' families

10 people died in the tragic 2013 crash

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The Independent Online

Families of those killed in the Glasgow Clutha Vaults pub helicopter crash have criticised the producers of Emmerdale for running a storyline they say bears too many similarities to the disaster.

The plot on the ITV soap will see a helicopter crash through the roof of the village hall during the wedding of Pete Barton to Debbie Dingle. At least one major cast member will be killed off as the story unfolds.

But the Clutha Trust support group has compared the narrative to the tragic incident in 2013, when a police helicopter smashed into the Clutha Vaults pub in Stockwell Street, Glasgow, killing 10 people.

Over a thousand people have signed a Change.org petition a day since it was launched by the Clutha Trust support group. Signatories are calling on Emmerdale producer Kate Oates to cut the episodes.

A little girl lays flowers near to the Clutha bar where a police helicopter crashed (Image: Getty)

“Show some respect to the Clutha Disaster victims and families by not running a storyline about a helicopter crash on Emmerdale,” the petition reads.

"It is completely disrespectful and insensitive to even consider using a similar storyline in order to boost ratings for a soap," it continues.

One petitioner wrote: "The people of Glasgow are still affected by this tragedy."

However, Ms Oates told a press conference last week that she and other soap bosses carefully considered the storyline in light of the Clutha disaster.

She said: “It was something that we considered because obviously our intention is always to entertain people, to give them a good story, to thrill them, to upset them in certain kinds of ways sometimes, but it would never be our intention to mimic something like that.

"So we kept it very deliberately far apart. It's not something we were concerned about because we made the decision very carefully."

Additional reporting PA