Nightly News   |  November 30, 2013

At least 8 dead after chopper crashes into pub

At least 8 people are dead and more than a dozen have been injured after a police chopper crashed into the roof of a crowded pub in Glasgow, Scotland. NBC’s Anabell Roberts reports.

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>>> good evening. police helicopters buzzing overhead are ubiquitous from the skies over many big cities here and abroad that they are barely noticed. no one expected the awful tragedy that happened last night in the center of scotland's biggest city when a police chopper came crashing down on the roof of a crowded pub. at least eight people are dead, more than a dozen hurt. tonight just over 24 hours later, searchers are working their way through the wreckage, trying to account for all of those inside. a process officials say could take days. it happened at a riverfront pub in glasgow . that's where annabell roberts is tonight with the latest on the unfolding disaster.

>> reporter: the police helicopter lies broken, embedded on the roof of the pub. when it hit, more than a hundred people were inside this popular music venue in the center of glasgow , listening to a band, enjoying a night out. eyewitnesses describe the engine sputtering before the chopper fell.

>> plummeted like a stone and dropped down. it was tumbling at the same time.

>> reporter: part of the roof collapsed ending up huge clouds of choking dust.

>> there was a whooshing sound. the came straight up and the whole roof just caved in.

>> it was like a mushroom cloud . it just enveloped everybody with dust. it was horrific.

>> reporter: police confirmed the pilot and two police officers traveling in the chopper were killed. five more bodies have been found inside the building.

>> this is a complex and ongoing rescue operation . it will not be a quick operation. this is a very complicated and, indeed, dangerous scene.

>> reporter: the search continues. officials say the site is too dangerous to know for sure if more people are trapped. when celebrations are normally held to honor scotland's patron saint but today they mourn. a special mass has been held. in a statement the queen said her thoughts and prayers are with the victims. 14 people remain in hospitals across this city tonight being treated for very serious injuries. meanwhile both the police and the company that built the helicopter have launched investigations into this fatal accident. lester?

>> annabell roberts in glasgow tonight.