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FM: fund for Clutha crash victims will get cash from Scottish Government

Cash from the Scottish Government will go to help those affected by the Glasgow helicopter crash, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.

Council chiefs in Glasgow have established a special fund to help people who may suffer financial hardship as a result of Friday night's tragedy, which saw nine people killed when a police helicopter struck the Clutha Vaults bar.

Glasgow City Council will pay cash into the fund, and Mr Salmond confirmed the Scottish Government would also pay in, matching the council's contribution, which is understood to be about £20,000

He said: "Glasgow City Council has established a fund for affected families and I can confirm that the Scottish Government will match the council's contribution."

Mr Salmond made the pledge during a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

He began by offering sympathy to all those affected.

"I know that the whole of the chamber will wish to join me in expressing our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed or injured," he said.

"All those affected are in the thoughts and prayers of people across the length and breadth of Scotland."

He read out the names of each of the victims - the six who died while enjoying a night out in the pub, and the three people on board the helicopter.

Mr Salmond praised the efforts of rescuers and the wider public response.

"I want to fully endorse the exceptional responses of the three emergency services, of the National Health Service, of Glasgow City Council and all the other agencies who came so rapidly to the aid of the victims in a complex and often dangerous situation," he said.

"The Scottish Ambulance Service, for example, were on the scene within one minute of receiving the emergency call."

Forensic officers cancelled leave, a police casualty bureau was opened to respond to calls, a reception centre was established by the council and the Scottish Government's resilience team quickly met.

He continued: "Today, with the Lord Provost of Glasgow, I met David Goodhew, assistant chief officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and expressed this Parliament's admiration for the bravery, commitment and conduct of the rescue teams.

"This has been a very complex and dangerous operation because of the nature of the accident and of the building."

Mr Salmond thanked Prime Minister David Cameron for the offer of military assistance, which was not needed but was "nevertheless appreciated".

Messages of condolence from the Queen, Pope and from people and governments around the world were all welcome, he said.

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