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Families in Clutha inquiry hoping for charity help

Ten were killed and 11 seriously injured when a police helicopter crashed in Glasgow.

Clutha: Seven customers also died.
Clutha: Seven customers also died.

Some of the families who will be represented at the inquiry into the Clutha helicopter disaster are hoping charity will help fund them.

Ten people were killed and 11 seriously injured when a police helicopter crashed into the Glasgow bar in November 2013.

Legal aid has been granted for the families of Samuel McGhee, Mark O'Prey and Gary Arthur but they have to contribute.

The fiancée of pilot David Traill, Dr Lucy Thomas, is privately funding her representation at the inquiry but Glasgow Sheriff Court heard the funding will run out.

The helicopter crew who were killed in the crash on November 29, 2013, were pilot David Traill, PC Tony Collins and PC Kirsty Nelis.

Seven customers in the Clutha pub also died. They were John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker.

Death: A helicopter crashed.
Death: A helicopter crashed.

A fatal accident inquiry in to their deaths will take place at Hampden Park and will start on April 8.

James Diver, the son of Mr McGee, Ian O'Prey, the father of Mr O'Prey and Gordon Arthur, Mr Arthur's dad have been granted legal aid but have to make a contribution.

Counsel for Mr Diver, Louise Arrol, saidt it's hoped a charitable organisation will pay the first instalment and preparation for the inquiry is under way.

She added steps are being taken to raise money to pay the balance.

The legal aid board suspended the requirement for payment until the end of January to see if there will be any other funding.

It was said on behalf of Dr Thomas that she is funding her representation privately but "that will run out".

The inquiry heard her legal team have made enquiries with the legal aid board who say she cannot apply for funding "until private funding has run out".

Sheriff Principal Turnbull noted that there had been a suggestion that Dr Thomas might not be eligible for legal aid.

The inquiry was told her salary is "significant" but that the legal aid board can use their discretion.

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