Dec 2 2013
The family of a man who has been missing since a police helicopter crashed through the roof of a pub have criticised the speed of the rescue operation.
Mark O'Prey has not been seen since the aircraft came down on the Clutha Vaults bar in Glasgow on Friday night.
His father Ian said he believed the recovery of the helicopter was taking precedence over removing bodies from the wreckage, as police confimed a ninth victim was found within the pub last night.
Five of the those killed have been named, with Samuel McGhee, 56, of Glasgow, formally identified early this morning.
Mr O'Prey told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I think it's taking far too long. Any chance they had is diminishing as the hours go by and we don't know, are they going to get them out today?
"I thought if they'd made a better attempt on the Saturday night, I thought they perhaps could have got them out a lot earlier than they did but I think they were more concerned about this helicopter.
"I don't know but I feel it could have been done better. Communication was dreadful. I'm sure they could have got the bodies out quicker."
Mark's sister Louise said: "We just need to know. It's too long now, really.
"We just feel as a family that the priority is given to the integrity and keeping that helicopter intact, which is no use to us."
Pilot David Traill, 51, died along with officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, as they returned in the aircraft from a police operation.
Both constables were members of the helicopter unit and had previously been commended for acts of bravery, Police Scotland chief constable Sir Stephen House said.
The daughter of 48-year-old Gary Arthur from Paisley, who was inside the pub, paid tribute to her father, writing on Twitter: ''You'll always mean the world to me.''
Four other victims who were in the busy bar have not yet been formally identified, but John McGarrigle, 38, said a witness told him that his father, also John McGarrigle, 59, was also killed.
Police have not ruled out the possibility that more bodies could be recovered from the wreckage.
Rescuers are still at the scene and the painstaking task of removing the remains of the helicopter is under way.
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the programme firefighters were working as quickly and safely as possible.
"I know that those in the air accident investigation side of this have described this as one of the most complex sites that they've ever worked on," she said.
"It's important that the helicopter is removed in a way that firstly preserves the dignity of the victims inside the pub, but secondly doesn't impose any unnecessary risks on the people carrying out this work.
"I fully and completely understand the frustration and the anguish for people who are waiting for news."
Speaking earlier this morning, Police Scotland's Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: "The site is extremely challenging and the efforts of colleagues from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and investigators have been painstaking.
"We can now confirm that Samuel McGhee died during the incident on Friday. Our thoughts are with his family and friends tonight as they are with all those affected by this tragedy.
"Sadly I can also confirm the discovery of a further body within the site. This takes to nine the total number of people who died on Friday night.
"Our absolute priority has been to locate the bodies of people who were within the pub at the time of the incident and recover them safely."
Six bodies have so far been taken from the pub site to the mortuary, she confirmed.
The popular venue was hosting live music on Friday night and was packed with more than 100 people when the tragedy happened at 10.25pm.
Twelve of 32 people taken to hospital continue to receive treatment, with three in intensive care.
Air accident experts have launched an investigation into what caused the Bond-operated Eurocopter EC135 to crash into the bar close to the River Clyde.
Sir Stephen said: "Until the helicopter is completely removed from the scene and the right people are in the premises and are able to look through the rubble completely and start to clear it, we cannot say about exact numbers.
"No one will be putting pressure on them in terms of time but things are proceeding, we are making progress and I know that people want to be reassured of that.
"It may appear that it's not going as fast as people want. The answer is it's painstaking and it's important that everything there is treated with the courtesy and respect it deserves."
Ms Sturgeon visited some of those who were injured in Glasgow Royal Infirmary and said she felt humbled by the stories she had heard of off-duty medical staff reporting for duty in the crash aftermath and members of the public queuing up to give blood the following morning.
Hundreds of people attended a service at Glasgow Cathedral, near the Royal Infirmary, yesterday, where prayers were said and candles were lit for those caught up in the crash.
Condolences came from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the day after messages of support from the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron.
First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland would recover from the tragedy.
He said: "The rescue and recovery operation at the Clutha continues and, as the Chief Constable has indicated, the area from which the helicopter is being removed is a confined one, but we must prepare ourselves for the possibility that there could be further fatalities to come.
"Tragedies do not define people, cities or countries. They are defined by how we respond, how we endure and how we recover. We have responded, we endure and Glasgow and Scotland will recover."