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Families lay to rest victims of helicopter tragedy

THE funerals of several of the victims of the Glasgow helicopter ccident will be held this week.

FUNERAL: The service for David Traill was held at Glasgow University.
FUNERAL: The service for David Traill was held at Glasgow University.

A service will be held today in Paisley for Gary Arthur, 48, who was one of nine people killed when the police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults bar last weekend. Mr Arthur was the father of Chloe Arthur, who plays for Celtic women's first-team.

A statement from his family said: "We loved him dearly and always will, we will miss him so much. We will continue to make him proud; he always tried to do his best for us and to be there for us.

"He was the best dad and it's devastating that our dad has been taken from us in such a tragic way."

The funeral of father-of-one Mark O'Prey, a 44-year-old window cleaner, will also take place today at St Bride's Roman Catholic Church in his home town of East Kilbride, followed by a service at Blantyre Crematorium.

Tomorrow the funeral of PC Tony Collins, 43, will be held at Lamlash Cemetery, on the island of Arran. Mr Collins was one of two police officers on board the helicopter when it crashed.

Another customer of the pub, John McGarrigle, of Cumbernauld, will also be laid to rest tomorrow at St Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church, in Glasgow's Croftfoot.

The funeral of the other police officer on board, PC Kirsty Nelis, 36, will be held at St Andrews Cathedral, Glasgow.

The first of the funerals took place on Saturday with a service for helicopter pilot captain David Traill, 51, at Glasgow University. Prayers were said at the service for the eight others who died in the crash. Mourners heard him described as a "happy and generous man, a man who lived life well and lived life full".

Friends, family and colleagues attended the service, which was led by chaplain the Reverend Stuart MacQuarrie, a Church of Scotland minister.

With permission from Capt Traill's family, a feed of the memorial was streamed on the university website.

Before the funeral, a guard of honour was formed, with police officers on one side and air ambulance pilots and paramedics on the other. The cortege was led by police outriders and was joined by a friend of Capt Traill, who rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle to the service.

The coffin was carried in to the university's Bute Hall with a large bouquet of white lilies on top. The university chaplain said he was sure that Capt Traill's skills as a pilot with more than two decades' experience had prevented the loss of further lives on the ground when the helicopter crashed on to the roof of the Clutha pub last Friday.

Pub owner Alan Crossan attended the funeral along with Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House, Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

Capt Traill, originally from Falkirk, was a former RAF pilot and instructor who served in both Gulf wars.

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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