No obvious mechanical failure found after chopper's pub crash

Dec. 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM
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GLASGOW, Scotland, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Scottish police Monday released the names of the nine people who died when a police helicopter smashed into a Glasgow pub Friday night.

Robert Jenkins, 61, Mark O'Prey, 44, Colin Gibson, 33, John McGarrigle, 57, Samuel McGhee, 56, and Gary Arthur, 48, all were inside the Clutha pub and died when the aircraft slammed into the building.

Civilian pilot David Traill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, were on board the helicopter and also died at the scene, the BBC reported.

Police said earlier the helicopter did not make a mayday call ahead of the crash.

The police helicopter's blades were still attached and nothing dropped from the chopper prior to the crash, meaning there were no obvious signs of mechanical failure, Air Accident Investigation Branch Deputy Chief Inspector Dave Miller told The Scotsman. Additionally, the chopper was not outfitted with a black box but Miller confirmed investigators expected to find crucial evidence in other electronic systems that are supposed to record flight data.

After the chopper wreckage was removed early Monday, Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick confirmed a subsequent search located a ninth body in the bar.

Another dozen people remained hospitalized, three in critical but stable condition, The Scotsman said.

A band was performing in the Clutha Bar near the River Clyde about 10:30 p.m. Friday when the helicopter spun down into the building, apparently after losing power, authorities said.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, the nation's political leader and head of government, called the accident a "black day for Glasgow and Scotland."

British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a "tragic event."

Clutha owner Alan Crossan told The Scotsman he was already in talks with the Glasgow City Council to arrange a benefit concert for the crash victims and pledged his bar would reopen someday.

"It's a strange and terrible thing to see a helicopter lifted out of your pub. I still can't believe that it took place," he said. "The Clutha is all about music and we've been inundated with offers of support and we are already talking to the city council who have lent their support."

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