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Family and friends gather for funerals of Clutha crash victims

Family and friends of the youngest victim of a helicopter crash which killed nine people have gathered to remember him.

The mother, brother and partner of Colin Gibson, Anne Glasper, Alan Gibson and David Hay (left of frame, l to r)

Colin Gibson, 33, was in the Clutha bar in Glasgow to celebrate a friend's birthday on November 29 when a police helicopter crashed through the roof.

A funeral was held for Mr Gibson today at Neilston Parish Church in East Renfrewshire, with senior police officers and Scottish Government minister John Swinney in attendance.

Clutha owner Alan Crossan and manager Saverio Petri were also at the service to pay their respects.

Mr Gibson's family thanked the emergency services and passers-by who tried to help people out of the pub after the crash.

In a statement released through Police Scotland, they said: "As Colin's family we would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to the emergency services who attended the scene of the tragic accident. We also thank the members of the public who instinctively disregarded their own safety to help others.

"We appreciate the painstaking challenge faced by the rescue workers who worked tirelessly in these very difficult and harrowing circumstances. We greatly appreciate the support and guidance provided to us at this distressing time by the police liaison officers.

"Our thoughts are with those other families also affected by this unfortunate event and at this most difficult time we do ask for privacy to come to terms with our loss."

Another service is to be held later today for Robert Jenkins, 61, another customer who died in the pub.

Six funerals have already been held for those who died in the tragedy. Helicopter pilot David Traill, 51, was remembered at a service at Glasgow University on Saturday and hundreds of police officers attended funerals for Pc Tony Collins, 43, on the Isle of Arran and Pc Kirsty Nelis, 36, in Glasgow this week.

Tributes were paid to pub customer John McGarrigle, 57, at a requiem mass in Castlemilk, while the funerals of Mark O'Prey, 44, from East Kilbride, and Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, were held on Monday.

The other victim was 56-year-old Samuel McGhee.

It has not yet been established what caused the helicopter to fall from the sky, although investigators say initial evidence rules out engine or gear box failure.

Mourners later gathered at Linn Crematorium in Glasgow for the funeral of Mr Jenkins, who was listening to the band in the Clutha with his partner Mary Kavanagh when the helicopter hit the building.

She escaped the bar unharmed and was restrained from going back in to find Mr Jenkins, known to friends as Rab.

The retired Scottish Gas administration worker, 61, had two daughters, Claire, 32, and Elaine, 31, with his wife of more than 30 years, Margaret Jenkins, a school teacher who died in 2006.

He was a keen runner and was passionate about music, literature and film and had appeared as an extra in several shows.

Mr Jenkins' friend Jim Doyle said in an obituary in the Herald newspaper: "One thing that keeps me going through this whole thing is that I know he died with a pint in his hand and listening to music.

"If he could have selected a way to go, this would have been exactly what he would have chosen."

In a statement, his family described him as a gentleman and an "especially kind, warm and funny man" with many friends.

Mr Jenkins was remembered at a humanist service led by Ken Eadie which celebrated his love of music.

Mourners entered the service to Wonderful Land by The Shadows and heard tributes from friends Tony Darroch and Davy Welsh.

A message on the order of service said: "The family wishes to thank all relatives and friends for their overwhelming kindness, love and support, shown at this sad time.

"They would also like to extend their thanks to the Emergency Services."

Lord Provost Sadie Docherty and Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council were among those in the hall of remembrance at the crematorium.

A special poem, about courage, was read to the mourners by Mr Jenkins' partner Mary, who was with him at the Clutha bar on the night of the crash.

In a statement released ahead of the funeral, Mr Jenkins' family said: "Robert Jenkins was a loving father to his two daughters, Claire and Elaine and a devoted brother to his sister Fiona.

"His much loved partner Mary Kavanagh was with him at the Clutha and was not injured in the incident.

"Robert was an especially kind, warm and funny man with many friends.

"He was a retired administration worker with Scottish Gas and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

Mr Jenkins worked with Scottish Gas for almost 30 years.

The film buff also appeared as an extra in Fields of Blood, BBC soap River City, and Single Father.

Mr Jenkins's friend Mr Eadie, said: "Robert's family would also to thank Dougie and Gregor, the police liaison officers for bereaved families, for their care, kindness and compassion at this difficult time."

Representatives from Police Scotland were among the hundreds of mourners.

Flanked by six police motorcycle outriders, his funeral cortege slowly made its way through the city streets to the crematorium.

His hearse carried two simple wreaths - one a cross made of white chrysanthemums and the another in red and cream flowers - in each window.

As the funerals are being held, donations have continued to pour in to the appeal fund set up to help people affected by the tragedy.

The fund will be boosted further by a comedy gig at the city's O2 Academy on Sunday, December 22, and by a charity concert featuring a number of Glasgow musicians.

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Transport Tragedy

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