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29 November 2016, 05:27
Families of those who lost their lives in the Clutha helicopter tragedy are demanding to know when a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the accident will be held.
Three years since a police helicopter plummeted into the roof of the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow killing 10 people, families have called on the Crown Office to provide clarity on the issue.
They have issued a statement through their solicitor asking for confirmation of when the FAI will begin.
Hannah Bennett, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, which represents many of the victims and families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy, said: ''On the third anniversary of this awful accident, a number of our clients are upset and confused as to why no date has yet been announced for the commencement of a fatal accident inquiry.
''For many of the victims and their families, closure on the events of that awful night can only truly begin once a FAI has been concluded.
''Thompsons Solicitors have over the years been involved in many FAIs and while we understand this is an extremely complex case, we think it is very unfortunate that there is still no confirmation on when a FAI is likely to commence.
''We are calling on the Crown Office to provide clarity on this issue so that the victims and their families are no longer left wondering when they will get the answers they need and deserve.''
Seven customers in the Clutha died - John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins, Samuel McGhee and Joe Cusker.
Helicopter crew pilot David Traill, Pc Tony Collins and Pc Kirsty Nelis were also killed.
An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report into the accident was published on May 6 last year.
A spokesman for the Crown Office said: ''The AAIB report into the Clutha tragedy, published last year, raised a number of issues which require further investigation by Police Scotland under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
''This is a challenging and highly complex inquiry. While we understand that the process may be frustrating for those affected by the tragedy, it is essential that the investigation must be thorough and effective to meet close scrutiny in judicial proceedings.
''Due to the complexity and breadth of the investigation, it is not possible to provide a timescale for any proceedings but a fatal accident inquiry will be held as soon as is possible to allow a full public airing of the evidence.
''We will continue to keep the families advised of progress with the investigation.''
An FAI is held when a death occurs as a result of an accident at work. Its aim is to prevent future deaths or injuries by seeking to learn lessons about what has gone wrong.