THE Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, Dr Gregor Duncan, has
spoken of his shock at seeing bodies lying in the street outside
his diocesan office after yesterday's fatal accident in St George's
Police have confirmed that six people died in the incident. In
their account of the accident, they say: "Glasgow City Council bin
lorry was travelling north on Queen Street when it appeared to
strike pedestrians outside the Gallery of Modern Art before
continuing to travel towards George Square, when it crashed at the
Millennium Hotel on Queen Street at George Square."
Bishop Duncan saw two bodies lying in the road as he returned to
the diocesan office after visiting a bank. He said on Tuesday that,
as he approached the scene, "I saw another body lying in the street
which was really pretty horrific, covered with a white sheet.
"I went over and spoke with a member of the emergency services
and said I was a priest, could I help.
"And this is the thing I will never forget, apart from the sight
of the bodies: she said: 'Just stand there Father, and pray,
because five souls. . .' meaning, I think, that five people had
been killed. It is now six, of course. So I did that, and then came
back into the office. . .
"I just stood there and commended everybody: the dead, the
injured, and their loved ones to the love and mercy of God. That's
all you can do."
Also on Tuesday, the Scottish First Minister, Nicola
Sturgeon, joined senior police officers and members of the public
at a prayer service at St George's, Tron, Church of
Scotland. Also present were the leader of Glasgow City
Council, Cllr George Matheson, and the Lord Provost of Glasgow,
Cllr Sadie Docherty; The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, the
Most Revd Philip Tartaglia, was due to say a requiem mass at St
Andrew's Cathedral that evening.
"We come . . . in a place of sorrow and shock; in a place of
brokenness and grief," said the Revd Alastair Duncan, Minister of
St George's, Tron, as he led prayers in the morning's service.
"Buried in our hearts [is] just a little of the pain and
devastation that has come to families in this city and affected the
lives of ordinary people as they went about their business in
excited anticipation of Christmas."
"It has been well said that Glasgow loves people; but yesterday
Glasgow lost some of her people," the Moderator of the Glasgow
Presbytery, the Revd Stuart Smith, told the congregation in his
"Each death and each injury that took place yesterday afternoon
is, of course, a personal tragedy, and we need to pray God's
blessing on those in greatest need."
In November 2013, ten people were killed when a police
helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha nightclub in
Glasgow. Bishop Duncan said that people in the city would respond
to this week's tragedy as they did last year: "People will come
together, and it is not so much the words that are said; it's the
people offering themselves to help people and to be in some kind of
solidarity with them. Glasgow people will do that.
"The city is very good at celebrating. We have had a wonderful
year in many ways; but we have had these terrible disasters,
Flags in the city were flying at half-mast, and the Christmas
lights in St George's Square were switched off