UK
01/12/2013 07:06 GMT | Updated 31/01/2014 05:59 GMT

Glasgow Helicopter Crash Service Held As Gary Arthur, David Traill And Kirsty Nelis Named As Victims

Hundreds of people gathered at Glasgow Cathedral to remember those killed and injured in the helicopter crash in the city.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill were among those who prayed for those affected by the accident at the Clutha Vaults pub on Friday night.

Sunday school children lit eight candles in memory of the eight confirmed dead while Rev Dr Laurence Whitley led prayers.

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He told the congregation that Glasgow was "great and irrepressible" and had come together "in solidarity" over the past two days.

Prayers were also said for the emergency service crews working to rescue and recover people from the building.

Both Ms Sturgeon and Mr MacAskill gave readings.

Rev Whitley spoke of his experiences visiting those injured by the incident in hospital on Saturday morning.

"All we found we could do was look at each other and shrug," he said.

"What was there to say about that heart wrenching event that had happened?"

Emergency services are still working to recover bodies from the Clutha Vaults pub in Stockwell Street close to the city centre.

At least eight people - including the civilian pilot and two police officers - were killed when the police helicopter crashed into the building on Friday evening. Another 14 people are in hospital with serious injuries.

Police Scotland have so far named only one of the victims as Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley area.

His daughter, Celtic and Scottish women's footballer Chloe Arthur, 18, wrote on Twitter: ''RIP dad. you'll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart.

''Thanks to everyone who has tweeted me, text me etc, means so much, I have the most amazing friends ever.''

John McGarrigle, 38, said an eyewitness had told him that his father, also John McGarrigle, 59, had also been killed.

Reports have also named helicopter pilot David Traill and police officer Kirsty Nelis as among the dead.

A post on the Facebook page of Mr Traill's cousin Heather Lawson read: "RIP David Traill my lovely big cousin away far to soon xxx"

Many of Mrs Nelis' friends on the social networking site changed their profile pictures to a black square cut across by a thin blue line in remembrance.

Andrina Romano said: "For my beautiful friend Kirsty and all others involved. You will never be forgotten and I will miss you every day. Rip"

Reverend Dr Laurence Whitley, the minister at Glasgow Cathedral, said: "The point of this morning's service is two-fold.

"Firstly to show solidarity amongst all Glaswegians with those who are suffering or have been bereaved.

"Secondly we want to express our gratitude, encouragement and support for the emergency services.

"We have to keep remembering that they are human beings and some of them have been dealing with people who have been seriously injured or even killed, and some are their colleagues."

Speaking about visiting those affected in hospital on Saturday morning, he said: "The atmosphere was very calm. A sense of sadness...but yet Glasgow being Glasgow, there was a sense of solidarity that we are all in this together."

Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House was at the service along with Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar and shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran were also among the congregation.

Police Scotland have said "extensive efforts" to recover the remaining bodies from the bar are continuing but "due to ongoing safety constraints this is likely to take some time".

The Queen, Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond have expressed their condolences to those caught up in the tragedy.

Witnesses said the Eurocopter EC135 T2 came down "like a stone" from the sky, hitting the roof of the Clutha when more than 100 people were inside the bar.

Police have launched a major investigation under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Members of the public formed a human chain to help remove those inside the popular music venue after the crash.

The area around the bar remains cordoned off as emergency services carry out a "rescue and recovery" operation.

Sir Stephen has described how rescuers are working in a "complicated and dangerous" environment and that the rescue operation will go on for many days yet.

It is not known how many people are still in the building.

Grace MacLean, inside the pub at the time of the crash, said it was busy with people listening to a ska band.

"We were all just having a nice time and then there was like a whoosh noise. There was no bang, there was no explosion. And then there was some smoke, what seemed like smoke," she told BBC News.

"The band were laughing and we were all joking that the band had made the roof come down.

"They carried on playing and then it started to come down more and someone started screaming and then the whole pub just filled with dust. You couldn't see anything. You couldn't breathe."

Nine-piece Glasgow ska band Esperanza were on stage when the helicopter hit the roof.

Writing on their Facebook page, the band said they were "waking up and realising that it is all definitely horribly real".

Helicopter operator Bond Air Services said it was "deeply saddened" by the incident and is working with Police Scotland, other emergency services and the Air Accident Investigation Branch as the investigations into what caused it get under way.

Steve Lloyd, manager of the Police Roll of Honour Trust, which remembers officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, said: "This is such a terrible loss of life.

"We know that it is so sad to lose a loved one at any time of year but I'm sure many of us will feel the loss is even harder to bear at a time when so many of us are preparing for Christmas with our loved ones."