NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

MP makes helicopter survivors and families meeting call

Helicopter wreckage being salvaged Image copyright PA
Image caption Four people died when the Super Puma crashed

An MP has expressed disappointed that the UK transport secretary has declined to meet North Sea helicopter crash survivors and families of victims.

Aberdeen North Labour MP Frank Doran had asked UK government minister Patrick McLoughlin to reconsider his request.

Four people died when a Super Puma crashed off Shetland in August last year.

Mr Doran said those left behind deserved to have their say.

The accident was the fourth of its kind in five years.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of those involved in this tragic incident.

"The Transport Secretary has received Frank Doran's letter and will reply.

"The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made a number of recommendations which the department believes will lead to improvements in the safety of offshore helicopter operations.

"It is important the necessary actions are taken to rebuild oil and gas workers' confidence in offshore helicopter transportation in the wake of this tragedy."

Safety measures

A full public inquiry into offshore helicopter safety was ruled out by the UK government in October.

It followed a report by Westminster's transport select committee which claimed there was evidence commercial pressure could put safety at risk.

However the DfT said it had not seen any evidence to suggest that safety was being compromised.

Since the Shetland crash a number of new safety measures have been introduced, including a new underwater emergency breathing system, giving workers a better chance of survival should a helicopter crash into the sea.

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