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Lessons must be learned after helicopter tragedy

Lessons must be learned after helicopter tragedy
LESSONS must be learned in the wake of the North Sea helicopter crash that left 16 people dead, MSPs said yesterday.

LESSONS must be learned in the wake of the North Sea helicopter crash that left 16 people dead, MSPs said yesterday.

SNP and Labour politicians, who represent the north-east, said the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report recommendations must be carried out in full.

Aberdeen South and North Kincardine SNP MSP Maureen Watt said: “My first thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

“The whole north-east community was shaken by this terrible accident and it is essential that lessons are learned so that these circumstances are never repeated.

“It is now a matter for Grampian Police to continue to progress any arising lines of inquiry and I await to see if further proceedings will be started.”

The crash was mentioned during a debate on the future of Scotland’s coastguard services at Holyrood yesterday.

It followed MSPs debating the importance of the North Sea oil and gas industry last week.

North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “We argued then that health, safety and environmental standards should have the highest priority in the next phase of offshore energy development and that message is particularly relevant today.

“The AAIB report makes grim reading, as warning signs of imminent technical failure were not recognised in time.

“We call today for urgent action, in line with the report’s recommendations, at the same time as recognising the efforts by employers, unions and regulators over the last two years to improve the safety of those travelling to and from work offshore.”

Aberdeen North Labour MP Frank Doran said alarm bells should have been ringing earlier. “The piece of stray metal should have acted as a warning and it seems not to have done – and there is an issue about that,” he said.

Asked whether there should be a fatal accident inquiry, he said: “I think it may be appropriate but you have to take into account the wishes of the relatives.”

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