5 Females And 1 Male Dead in Crash

23 December 2014, 10:39 | Updated: 23 December 2014, 10:40

Five females and one male were killed when a bin lorry careered out of control in Glasgow city centre, police have said.

A further 10 people were injured when the truck mounted a pavement before crashing into the side of a hotel yesterday afternoon.

The accident happened in George Square, which was packed with Christmas shoppers and families enjoying the annual winter carnival.

Police Scotland said in a statement: "As a result of the collision, six people died and 10 people were injured, including the driver.

"Seven casualties were taken to hospital by the ambulance service, two walked in to hospital and one was treated at the scene. Four have since been discharged.

"There are currently six people in hospital being treated for their injuries. Two have been moved to the Intensive Therapy Unit for further monitoring.

"The deceased includes one male and five females.''

Police refused to comment on reports that three members of the same family are feared to be among the victims.

Dozens of floral tributes have been placed at the scene as officers investigate how the vehicle lost control.

Chief Inspector Mark Sutherland from Police Scotland said last night: "We are currently working with our other agencies to establish exactly what happened.

"It's important that we do a thorough investigation to establish the full circumstances.

"It's important that we take all the necessary steps to do it as quickly as we can so that we get the answers for the families and get their loved ones back to them as quick as we can.''

One witness described the lorry knocking people down "like pinballs'' in the crash at around 2.30pm.

It is thought the driver may have taken ill at the wheel as he travelled up Queen Street and his vehicle struck a pedestrian outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

The lorry continued on and hit several other people, only coming to halt when it crashed into the Millennium Hotel on George Square.

Prayers will be said for the victims at a special church gathering today.

Reverend Alastair Duncan will lead the service at St George's Tron at 11.30am.

Church of Scotland Moderator, the Right Reverend John Chalmers, said: "The news from the city centre of Glasgow just a few days before Christmas is simply devastating.

"For the second year in a row Glaswegians will have to dig deep into their reserves of compassion and sympathy as they support the families of those who have been killed and injured.''

Yesterday's tragedy struck just over 12 months after the Clutha Bar helicopter crash in Glasgow.

Ten people died when a police helicopter crashed on to the roof of the pub on November 29 last year.

Flags on public buildings will fly at half-mast today in remembrance of those who died at George Square.

Those injured in the crash, including the driver, continue to receive treatment at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Southern General and the Western Infirmary.

Northumbria Police is meanwhile investigating an offensive Twitter message relating to the incident.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "My thoughts are with everyone involved in this tragic incident, and especially with the friends and families of the six people who lost their lives in what is another sad day for Glasgow and Scotland.''

Superintendent Stewart Carle said last night: "It's difficult for all the emergency services but particularly for those people who have been in Glasgow today shopping and getting ready for Christmas.

"There will be a lot of distressed people and certainly the city will need to come round those people that have been traumatised by the incident.''

Police Scotland is appealing to members of the public who have photographs, videos or any type of mobile footage of the incident to send it to a dedicated email address: georgesquareincident@scotland.pnn.police.uk.