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Humanist funeral held for 10th victim of Clutha crash

More than 200 mourners have paid their last respects to the 10th victim of the Clutha helicopter crash at his funeral.

final GOODBYE: Joe Cusker's coffin is carried into the service, where 200 mourners gathered. Pictures: Colin Templeton.
final GOODBYE: Joe Cusker's coffin is carried into the service, where 200 mourners gathered. Pictures: Colin Templeton.

Joe Cusker, 59, was inside the Glasgow pub when the Police Scotland helicopter crashed through the roof on November 29.

Mr Cusker, of Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, was pulled from the wreckage alive, but died in hospital from his injuries almost two weeks later.

Police outriders accompanied the hearse as it arrived at South Lanarkshire Crematorium in Blantyre for the humanist service yesterday. The coffin was draped with a red socialist flag and a single white rose had been placed on top.

Scottish Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham attended the service along with senior police officers, Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson and Lord Provost Sadie Docherty.

Mr Cusker's family described their devastation over his death in a statement released before the funeral. They said: "When the accident happened, our family thought we were one of the lucky ones. Losing Joe 13 days later has left a huge gap in our lives which, at this moment, we can't imagine beginning to fill. We are now left with the task of making sure his grandchildren grow up knowing who their 'Papa Joe' was, even if some of them are too young to remember him.

"The family would like to express their gratitude for all the support and good wishes they have received at this difficult time.

"We would also like to thank the emergency services, who gave Joe a fighting chance by removing him from the Clutha at risk to their own safety."

Mr Cusker's family said the "care, compassion and support" of staff in the intensive care unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary had earned their "eternal gratitude and admiration".Funerals took place last week for the three helicopter crew who died: Pilot David Traill, 51, Pc Tony Collins, 43, and Pc Kirsty Nelis, 36 and the six other pub customers who lost their lives.

l Darren Melrose, 18, Jordan Parry, Billy Jo Revie, both 16, and a 16-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons, have appeared in court charged with breaking into the Clutha Vaults on Tuesday and stealing items.

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