Clutha helicopter crash inquiry to begin in April 2019
A police helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub in Glasgow in 2013, leaving ten people dead.
A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the Clutha helicopter tragedy will begin in April next year, the Crown Office has announced.
Ten people died when a police helicopter crashed onto the roof of the Clutha pub in Glasgow in November 2013.
Among them were pilot David Traill and crew Pc Tony Collins and Pc Kirsty Nelis.
The planned inquiry into the circumstances of the disaster will take place at Hampden Park in the city, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for October 3.
Those affected by the tragedy have been informed of the development, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said.
It was announced in November last year that an FAI would be held, with some victims’ families critical of the time taken for a decision to be made.
More than 100 people were at the Clutha Vaults pub when the helicopter, returning to its base on the banks of the River Clyde, crashed through the roof on November 29 2013.
Seven customers died – John McGarrigle, Mark O’Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker.
An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report published in 2015 found two fuel supply switches were off and the pilot did not follow emergency procedures after a fuel warning in the cockpit.
The Crown Office has previously stated there is insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings.
Date fixed for the start of #CluthaFAI. Inquiry before Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull will begin on 8 April 2019. Inquiry to take place @Hampdenpark. First preliminary hearing on 3 October 2018. Full details at https://t.co/9yjkPZysXc our web page— Clutha FAI (@Clutha_FAI) August 10, 2018
Patrick McGuire, of Thompsons Solicitors, who have represented several families affected by the tragedy, said: “This is very welcome news from the Crown Office, although it has taken far too long for us to reach this stage.
“A fatal accident inquiry is the only way that the families of those who lost their lives will be able to learn what happened to their loved ones on that awful night almost five years ago.
“The FAI will also be able to make recommendations that will hopefully prevent a similar accident from ever happening again. I hope that the Crown Office will make sure that the families are at the very centre of this process, are kept fully informed of all developments and are treated in a compassionate and sympathetic manner.”