Scotland

Clutha owner sues helicopter firm Babcock for £350,000

Clutha crash Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The helicopter crashed into the pub in November 2013

The owner of the Clutha bar in Glasgow where a helicopter crashed killing 10 people almost five years ago has said he is still waiting for compensation.

Alan Crossan confirmed he will sue Babcock, the company which owns the helicopter operator, for £350,000 in lost earnings while his pub was closed.

Mr Crossan said his lawyer would serve a writ to the multinational corporation within a week.

Babcock said it would not comment on individual cases.

Image caption Alan Crossan said he would sue the helicopter owners

Seven people in the pub and three people onboard the aircraft died when a police helicopter crashed through the roof of the busy Glasgow city centre bar on Friday 29 November 2013.

The helicopter was operated by Bond Air Services, which is now owned by Babcock.

Mr Crossan was given an initial six-figure payout for refurbishing his damaged pub but almost five years later he said he was still trying to get compensation for revenue and profits lost while the pub was closed for 20 months.

Under Scots law, complainers have five years to make a damages claim of this sort.

Mr Crossan told BBC Scotland he had been "pushed to the court steps" by Babcock's refusal to discuss compensation.

Image copyright Jeff J Mitchell
Image caption Rescuers lift the police helicopter wreckage from the roof of The Clutha pub

"It's not something you want to do, but I have to do it," he said.

Mr Crossan said the compensation figure came from a loss adjuster.

"These are not figures I've pulled out my head," he said.

Image caption The 10 people who died: (Top: left to right) David Traill, PC Kirsty Nelis, PC Tony Collins, Gary Arthur, Samuel McGhee (Bottom: left to right) Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Mark O'Prey, John McGarrigle, Joe Cusker

Mr Crossan said he knew his struggles were "insignificant" compared with the people who were killed or injured but thought he was owed payment for his losses.

"A lot of people are still suffering and I'm bottom of that list," he said.

A fatal accident inquiry into the Clutha crash will formally begin at Hampden Park on 8 April next year.

A report published in 2015 by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the pilot, Captain David Traill, did not follow emergency protocol and flew on despite low fuel warnings.

It said fuel transfer pumps were turned off and a controlled landing was not achieved for "unknown reasons".

After the crash, Bond Air Services said Capt Traill was one of their most experienced pilots and described him as "the epitome of the consummate professional".

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