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Charles to meet air crash workers

The Prince of Wales is to meet some of the emergency services workers who were involved in the Glasgow helicopter crash operation.

Charles will visit the city tomorrow, one week after tragedy struck at the popular Clutha bar.

Nine people died when a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of the busy pub just before 10.30pm last Friday night.

The incident prompted a difficult and complex operation involving all of the emergency services.

Their work, in dangerous conditions over several days, to search the site and remove the nine bodies from the ruins of the pub has been widely praised.

Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, will meet some of those workers who were involved in the operation, as well as others involved in the city's response to the incident.

He will also sign a book of condolence at Glasgow City Chambers in the afternoon.

A short statement on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's website said: " The Duke of Rothesay will visit Glasgow to meet emergency service personnel and others involved in the response to the helicopter crash in Glasgow city centre last Friday.

"His Royal Highness will also sign the Book of Condolence at the City Chambers."

More than 100 people were in the bar when the helicopter dropped out of the sky "like a stone", crashing through the roof of the building.

Six people inside the pub and the three people in the helicopter were killed.

The people in the bar were Robert Jenkins, 61, Mark O'Prey, 44, 33-year-old Colin Gibson, John McGarrigle, 57, 48-year-old Gary Arthur and Samuel McGhee, 56. The crew members were pilot David Traill, 51, and officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Their bodies have been released to their relatives, allowing the families to make funeral arrangements.

Some of the funerals are expected to take place over the next few days. It is understood Mr O'Prey's will take place in East Kilbride on Monday and the funeral of Pc Collins will be on Arran on Tuesday.

A fund to help bereaved relatives and survivors of the helicopter crash has been opened by the city council. The local authority said it has received "generous offers of support" from businesses, charities and individuals from across Glasgow. The Scottish Government will match the council's contribution to the fund.

A number of high-profile people, including comedian and actor Billy Connolly, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers manager Ally McCoist have visited the crash site to lay floral tributes.

Elsewhere, air crash investigators have begun their detailed examination of the wreckage.

Investigations by Police Scotland and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) were launched in the aftermath of the incident and a preliminary report by the AAIB could be released within the next few days. The full findings are not expected for several months.

The three-tonne Eurocopter was removed from the scene on Monday and taken by lorry to the AAIB base in Farnborough, Hampshire, where it arrived on Tuesday night.

Air accident investigators have already revealed that the helicopter pilot made no mayday call and that no black box data recorder was on board.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has called for the crash investigation to be carried out as quickly as humanly possible.


From Belfast Telegraph