Glasgow helicopter crash: Final four dead named as wreckage is removed

Remaining fatalities identified as Robert Jenkins, Mark O'Prey, Colin Gibson and John McGarrigle

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The Independent Online

The search and recovery operation at the Glasgow helicopter crash site has concluded and the final four fatalities have been named by police, bringing an agonising three day wait for the victim's families to an end.

They were identified as Robert Jenkins, 61 and Mark O'Prey, 44, both from East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire, 33-year-old Colin Gibson of Ayr, South Ayrshire, and John McGarrigle, 57, from Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire.

A total of nine people died after a police helicopter came crashing through the roof of the busy Clutha Vaults pub situated close to the River Clyde, on Friday night.

The confirmation of the last four names completes the formal identification of all those who died in the incident. Two other victims who were inside the pub had already been named as 48-year-old Gary Arthur, from Paisley, and Samuel McGhee, 56, of Glasgow.

All three of the helicopter's crew died when the aircraft landed on the popular bar as it returned from a police operation at 10.25pm. They are pilot David Traill, 51, who died along with police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Eleven people remain in hospitals across the city.

The scene is now subject to an ongoing police investigation into what caused the crash, but management of the site has been handed over to the city council.

Police Scotland deputy chief constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: “All nine names of those who died in the tragic incident last Friday in Glasgow have now been confirmed. Our thoughts first and foremost are with the families and friends of all those who have died. As our investigation continues we will of course go on providing support to the families involved.

“This has been a difficult and complex operation which has involved painstaking work and the skills of specialist personnel from across the emergency services. I would like to thank all those involved for their professionalism and respect with which they conducted this operation.”

Yesterday it was confirmed that the bodies of all nine people who died in the incident had been removed from the scene during a “difficult and complex” operation for the emergency services.

Confirmation of the names of the final four crash victims came after police stressed they were “working hard” to formally identify the remaining people as soon as possible in order to bring some certainty to the families who have been waiting for news since the incident happened.

“As many have acknowledged, it has been a difficult and complex recovery operation, made the more challenging for those in the emergency services who have been working at the scene who have also lost their colleagues and friends,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

The wreckage of the three-tonne Eurocopter was removed from the building yesterday in a complex operation which allowed emergency services to search the area inside the bar.

Air accident investigators have said that the helicopter made a vertical descent on to the venue, which was packed with around 100 people, and that the pilot made no mayday call.

A minute's silence was held in Glasgow's George Square yesterday evening to mark the tragedy.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon added a wreath to the hundreds of floral tributes placed at the site of the crash. The teenage daughter of Mr Arthur is a Celtic and Scottish women's footballer.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to visit Glasgow to meet some of the people affected by the crash, and the emergency services who took part in the rescue operation.

Glasgow City Council chief executive George Black said: “Every Glaswegian is immensely grateful for the work the emergency services have done for us since Friday night. And every Glaswegian is immensely proud of their fellow citizens who ran towards trouble when they were needed.

“While the initial response to this incident has now come to an end, we still have work to do - in supporting those who are grieving or traumatised; in supporting businesses whose work has been disrupted; and, while for many people the city will never truly be the same, in helping Glasgow to return to something like normality.”

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has told MPs that an interim report into the causes of the helicopter crash will be published as soon as possible.