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Helicopter Crashes Into Roof of Glasgow Pub (UPDATE: Fatalities Likely, Official Says)


"It seems that the band are all OK. Not so sure about everyone else."

Credit: Twitter, @MurdoMitchell

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

UPDATE 11:02 p.m.: LONDON (AP) — Scottish authorities say there are numerous casualties and people remain trapped inside a Glasgow pub after a police helicopter crashed into its roof.

Authorities early Saturday said search and rescue teams were on the scene at The Clutha pub in the city center.

Officials say a number of people have been rescued and taken to hospitals but that it is too soon to comment on the number of casualties. Scotland's leader, Alex Salmond, warned that fatalities are likely.

Asst. Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay says rescuers have made contact with some people still in the pub and are working hard to stabilize the building and "get people out."

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: LONDON (AP) — Scottish officials: 'Numerous' casualties in Glasgow helicopter crash; some people trapped.

Original story below.

LONDON (AP) -- A helicopter slammed late Friday night into the roof of a popular pub in Glasgow, Scotland, apparently crashing inside the building and littering the roof with debris.

Photos of the scene aired on local television show what appear to be the helicopter's propeller sticking out of the top of the pub's roof. Nearby wreckage appears to have the word "police" across the side. Rescue workers swarmed the door of the pub and several fire trucks were on the scene.

Credit: Twitter, @MurdoMitchell

Local police confirmed that emergency services are dealing "with a major incident," but would not comment on casualties or if a police helicopter was involved.

There were reports that people may have been trapped inside, but they could not be immediately confirmed. Glasgow ska band Esperanza were due to play a show at the pub.

"It seems that the band are all OK. Not so sure about everyone else," the band's official Facebook page said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as people rushed through a cloud of dust to get out, some with bad gashes to the head and other injuries.

Grace MacLean, who was inside the pub at the time of the crash, said she was "having a nice time" when there was a "whoosh" noise - then 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.

People formed a human chain to help pass unconscious people out of the pub so that "inch by inch, we could get the people out," said Labour Party spokesman Jim Murphy, who happened to be in the area when the helicopter came down.

"The helicopter was inside the pub. It's a mess. I could only get a yard or two inside. I helped carry people out," Murphy told Sky News. "I saw a pile of people clambering out of the pub in the dust. No smoke, no fire, just a huge amount of dust."

Gordon Smart, editor of the Scottish edition of the Sun newspaper, told Sky News he believed it was a police helicopter.

"There was no fireball and I did not hear an explosion," he said. "It fell like a stone. The engine seemed to be spluttering."

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "My thoughts are with everyone affected by the helicopter crash in Glasgow - and the emergency services working tonight."


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