Glasgow 'United In Grief'

23 December 2014, 12:17 | Updated: 23 December 2014, 12:22

Glasgow has been "united in grief'' as a special prayer service was held for the bin lorry tragedy in the city which claimed six lives and left 10 people injured.

Five females and one male died yesterday after the out-of-control truck careered along a crowded street.

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

Today, a special service was held at the nearby St George's Tron Parish Church.

The Rev Stuart Smith, moderator of Glasgow Presbytery of the Church of Scotland, said the circumstances of the crash were "more sudden and shocking than we could have imagined possible if it wasn't for the evidence right here in front of us''.

The service, which was attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson, began with the carol In The Bleak Midwinter.

Mr Smith said: "In just a few minutes yesterday afternoon a scene of celebration and festive lights in George Square turned to devastation and despair. A bleak midwinter and darkness indeed.

"Yet almost immediately first volunteers, passers-by and then our emergency services appeared on the scene, bringing compassion and skill and dedication and light into the darkness.''

He said the tragic events in the city centre had "affected us all and brought us all here together as one''.

Mr Smith added: "It has been well said that 'people make Glasgow' but yesterday Glasgow lost some of her people and others were terribly injured.

"Each death and each injury that took place yesterday afternoon is, of course, a personal tragedy. But it is also Glasgow who has lost her people and as a city we feel it and suffer together.''

The crash happened just over a year after a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, killing 10 people.

Mr Smith said the city then "found in the midst of tragedy a strength that has not let us down''.

He told the congregation that they had come together "side by side and arm in arm as a city united in grief''.