Scotland's official holiday turns into day of mourning


Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 30 at 2:33 PM

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Scotland's national holiday has been transformed into a day of mourning as emergency crews search the ruins of a Glasgow pub smashed by a falling police helicopter.

At least eight people are dead and more than a dozen hospitalized with serious injuries. Five of those killed were in the pub and three were on the aircraft.

The numbers could change as the rescue and recovery operation continues. Authorities say they won't know for sure if there are more victims in the building until the wreckage of the helicopter is removed. That process could take days.

Police say the pub was packed with well over 100 people when the crash occurred last night, on the eve of St. Andrew's Day.

The holiday, named for the patron saint of Scotland, is normally a celebration of Scottish culture and heritage. Instead, Scotland's leader ordered flags at government buildings to be lowered to half-staff.

First Minister Alex Salmond called it "a black day for Glasgow and Scotland" but also a day to "take pride and courage in how we respond to adversity and tragedy."

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126-a-11-(Jim Murphy, member of Parliament, helped with the rescue, in interview)-"and get 'em"-Scottish politician Jim Murphy, who helped people at the pub, says eyewitnesses formed a human chain to recover everyone they could. COURTESY: SKY NEWS ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *126 (11/30/13)££ 00:11 "and get 'em"

124-a-08-(Janette Hutcheon, witness at the pub, in interview)-"shock of it"-Janette Hutcheon was at the Clutha pub after the crash and says people were streaming out of the building covered in blood, with gashes and other injuries. COURTESY: SKY NEWS ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *124 (11/30/13)££ 00:08 "shock of it"

123-a-08-(Sir Stephen House, chief constable, Scotland Police, at news conference)-"were our colleagues"-Chief Constable Sir Stephen House of Scottish police says eight people were killed in the crash of the helicopter. (30 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *123 (11/30/13)££ 00:08 "were our colleagues"

APPHOTO NSH117: Scottish Fire and Rescue services at the scene on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, following the helicopter crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish emergency workers were sifting through wreckage Saturday for survivors of a police helicopter crash onto a crowded Glasgow pub that has killed several people and injured dozens. The Clutha pub, near the banks of the River Clyde, was packed Friday night and a ska band was in full swing when the chopper slammed through the roof. The number of fatalities is expected to rise, officials said. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell) (30 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO NSH117 (11/30/13)££