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Police: 8 killed in chopper crash at Scottish pub

4:57 PM, Nov 30, 2013   |    comments
Fire and Rescue services at the scene of a deadly police helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar, Glasgow, Scotland.
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By Yamiche Alcindor, Michael Winter and Robin Webb, USA Today

A helicopter crash into a Glasgow pub has left eight dead and emergency workers sifting through the rubble for more survivors.

In a press briefing Saturday, Chief Constable of Police Scotland Stephen House said all those aboard the helicopter - two officers and a civilian pilot - died when the aircraft crashed into The Clutha pub late Friday night, causing the roof of the building to partially collapse. Five other people were killed on the ground.

"This is a complex and ongoing rescue operation," House said, according to the BBC. "It will not be a quick operation. It is a very complicated and indeed dangerous scene."

He added that emergency services would remain on the scene for some time and that the operation would take "many days."

Jennifer Armstrong, medical director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, told the BBC that 32 people were taken to hospitals after the crash and that 18 had been treated and discharged as of Saturday afternoon. She said 14 people were still being treated for serious injuries.

"The main injuries we have seen include chest injuries, head injuries, long-bone fractures and lacerations," she said.

About 250 people attended a special service at St. Andrew's Cathedral on Saturday afternoon, the BBC reported.

Late Friday night, Scotland's leader, Alex Salmond, called the tragedy "a black day for Scotland and Glasgow."

Police reported that an estimated 120 people were inside the popular pub, located on the banks of the River Clyde, when the crash occurred around 10:25 p.m. local time.

The pub was packed with the usual Friday night crowd, drinking and listening to a nine-piece ska band called Esperanza. Members of the band all escaped from the wreckage unharmed.

Witnesses spoke of people streaming out of the building covered in blood, with gashes and other injuries.

Grace MacLean, who was inside at the time of the crash, said she heard a "whoosh" noise then saw smoke.

"The band were laughing and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down," she told the BBC. "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."

Contributing: The Associated Press

USA Today

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