Glasgow & West Scotland

Clutha helicopter crash: Bar to reopen in May

A pint glass and change on the bar; a Tennants tap. View of stage 'Rock the Clutha' backdrop Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption A pint glass and change lie on the bar, where they were left on the night of the tragedy

The owner of The Clutha bar hopes to reopen it at the beginning of May.

The pub has been shut since a police helicopter crashed through its roof in November 2013.

Three people in the helicopter and seven others in the bar died. Many more were injured.

Building work is now under way at the pub, which had remained almost untouched after the emergency services left.

Owner Alan Crossan said the adjoining Victoria Bar will be refurbished, and the beer garden at the back of the Clutha will be covered over.

Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption Owner Alan Crossan stands at the bar, which was largely destroyed

But he said he still does not know what he will do with the area of the building where the helicopter crashed.

"It's difficult, it's taken me a year and a bit to even get to this stage," he said.

"Maybe in six months, maybe in a year, I'll know better what to do with this."

"Obviously, when we get people back in and the music starts again, we'll get a better idea of what we can do."

The bar owner added: "The name will stay. The Clutha, before the accident, was pretty famous anyway, so the name will always stay. The Clutha means the Clyde and we're right next door to the Clyde, so we'll retain that.

"Obviously in its day it was a pub that was really happy and it was always a good pub, there were never any issues in it, so it's got a feeling now where it's strange, I could take a long, long time to figure out what to do with it."

Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption The stage where bands perform as it was on the night of the crash
Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption The band's drinks and an instrument stand remain on the stage
Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption Mr Crossan said he is not sure what to do with the area where the helicopter crashed
Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption The building has remained virtually untouched since the crash
Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image copyright Andrew Milligan

Pilot David Traill, who was attached to the Police Scotland air support unit, and police constables Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis were killed when the Eurocopter EC 135 crashed on to the building.

Those killed in the pub were John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins and Samuel McGhee. Joe Cusker was pulled from the wreckage alive but later died in hospital.

An initial report said the aircraft suffered engine failure. The final conclusions of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are expected to be released later this year.

Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption Building begins on the inside of the Clutha
Image copyright Andrew Milligan

More on this story