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Candlelit memorial for Clutha victims

TEN candles were lit in St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow yesterday, one for each life lost in the Clutha helicopter tragedy.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, centre, leads the memorial service at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow yesterdayPhotograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, centre, leads the memorial service at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow yesterdayPhotograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The ecumenical memorial service took place just yards from the crash site. Among those who attended were Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Labour MP Jim Murphy, who was at the scene on the night of the disaster, and local council leader Gordon Matheson.

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty told the congregation that grief was still raw, but she hoped the service could go some way towards helping those affected. Catholic Archbishop Philip Tartaglia led the service and touched upon the "compassionate" and "selfless" response from the people of Glasgow.

He said: "In many ways the tragedy brought out the good, and the selfless and the compassionate in people. It was poignant and humbling and I was proud of my city."

The Police Scotland Eurocopter EC135 came down on the Clutha bar at about 10.25pm on Friday, November 29. Among those killed were the three crew members, pilot David Traill, 51, PC Tony Collins, 43, and PC Kirsty Nelis, 36.

Seven patrons at the Clutha also died: Joe Cusker, 59, John McGarrigle, 57, Mark O'Prey, 44, Gary Arthur, 48, Colin Gibson, 33, Robert Jenkins, 61, and Samuel McGhee, 56.

Reverend Dr Laurence Whitley, who was the police chaplain at the crash scene, gave a reading at the service. He said: "The point of the service is twofold. The first is to say to the bereaved, and those who survived and still bear the scars, that the promises of support that were made at the time are being honoured.

"People are not moving on and forgetting, we are still here. The second thing is that the service has been carefully put together to emphasise the sense of comfort and strengthening."

An investigation into the cause of the crash is currently being conducted by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

A report issued on February 14 said the helicopter suffered a double engine failure.

The cause of the "flame out" was not specified. However, some commentators have suggested a problem with the fuel supply.

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