The wreckage of a three-ton helicopter that crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland was lifted free on Monday, after police said a ninth body had been recovered from the rubble.
The police aircraft crashed through the flat roof of the Clutha Vaults pub on the banks of the river Clyde on Friday evening, as 120 people were listening to a live band.
The three people onboard the Eurocopter, as well as six people inside the pub, were killed, though police have not ruled out that more bodies could be lying under the collapsed building.
The rotor blades and parts of the tail were removed at the weekend and the remaining parts stabilised with straps.
A crane was used to slowly winch the fuselage clear.
“Crews have been tunnelling underneath the helicopter to try to find further casualties and remove those where necessary,” said Scottish Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief officer David Goodhew.
“The building has been totally devastated. It's totally unrecognisable in most parts,” he added.
“There's a large amount of debris that's underneath the helicopter and therefore you have to dig in slowly and methodically. Crews have been working tirelessly. We've been rotating crews, we've used specialist crews, urban search and rescue, every rescue crew.”
“It's one of the most difficult operations, I think, of this type in the country,” said Goodhew.
The way the helicopter had landed meant rescue services could not previously lift it clear, he said, and it had been in an “unsafe, unstable condition”.
Twelve of the 32 people taken to hospital after the accident were still being treated on Monday, with three of them in intensive care. The reasons why the EC-135 helicopter hit the single-storey building remains unclear.
Experts said it was possible that the aircraft, which was carrying two police officers and a civilian pilot, had suffered a technical problem. - Sapa-dpa