Long-awaited inquiry to proceed next week

The long-awaited inquiry into the fatal helicopter crash off Sumburgh which claimed the lives of four offshore workers almost exactly seven years ago is due to get underway next week.

An initial hearing presided over by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle has heard preparations are in place for the much-anticipated probe into the tragedy involving a Super Puma aircraft which plunged from the sky at Garths Ness.

Eighteen people were on board the helicopter during a routine journey from the Borgsten Dolphin platform east of Shetland when the aircraft crashed on its approach to Sumburgh.

Sarah Darnley (45), of Elgin, was killed in the tragedy, as was her fellow passengers Gary McCrossan, 59, of Inverness; Duncan Munro, 46, of Bishop Auckland and 57-year-old George Allison from Winchester.

Speaking during a hearing via video-link – made necessary by the restrictions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic – Advocate Depute Martin Richardson QC said: “The Crown is prepared for the beginning of the inquiry next week.”


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