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  • 2 December 2013, 23:03

Glasgow Helicopter Crash Search Ends

The search and recovery operation at the site of the Glasgow helicopter crash has ended, with police confirming there were nine fatalities.

All nine bodies have now been pulled from the rubble of theClutha pub after a police helicopter smashed through the roof on Friday night.

Police have named five of the people killed. They hope to formally identify the remaining four later this evening.

Earlier it emerged that the pilot made no mayday call before the crash.

Dave Miller, deputy chief inspector of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, told reporters there was no explosion and no fire before the helicopter fell onto the roof of the building causing debris to land on customers below.

He said there was no 'black box' flight recorder on board but it does have a "significant number of modern electronic systems on board and it may be possible to recover details from those systems".

Nothing fell from the craft before the accidentand the helicopter rotors were intact at the moment of impact.

The "extensively damaged" Eurocoptercraft was lifted out by crane and taken by lorry to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) base in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Emergency service workers formed a guard of honour to pay their respects to victims as the last four bodies were driven away in private ambulances.

Pope Francis has sent a message expressing his "closeness" to the people of Glasgow following the tragedy.

In a statement to the Commons, Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichaelpraised the bravery of the public and emergency services who helped victims of the crash, saying "they responded with no thought for personal safety".

Hundreds of flowers have been left at the scene, and the city held a minute's silence at 6pm.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon spoke briefly to reporters as he left a wreath outside The Clutha.

"It's an unforeseen tragedy that's affected the whole city, and the city is united in grief at the minute. There's an eerie atmosphere around the place at the minute, which you can understand," he said.

More than 100 people were in the pub listening to a ska band when the helicopter hit at 10.25pm.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief officer David Goodhew said rescuers had been working in very confined spaces with the danger of potential further collapse in order to find bodies and remove the helicopter.

"Crews have been tunnelling underneath the helicopter to try to find further casualties and remove those where necessary," he said.

Three people were killed in the helicopter - pilot DavidTraill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43.

Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, and Samuel McGhee, 56, from Glasgow, were among six people killed in the pub.

Eleven people remain in hospital with serious injuries including bone fractures, spinal injuries, lacerations, chest injuries and head injuries.

Glasgow City Council said financial help will be made available to anyone in hardship as a result of the tragedy.

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