Terror attack survivor John Smeaton has thrown his weight behind our calls to recognise the heroes of the Clutha tragedy.
John, who rose to fame in the aftermath of the Glasgow Airport attack in 2007, said the people who put themselves in harm’s way to save others following the helicopter crash should be honoured.
He said: “The stories of bravery I’ve heard are inspiring and everyone involved deserves to be honoured.”
John became a global star after taking on Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed when they drove a Jeep packed with fuel and gas canisters at the terminal building.
He was later awarded a gallantry medal from the Queen.
John said the people who helped in the aftermath of the helicopter disaster should get the same award.
He said: “They should definitely be considered for the Queen’s gallantry medal. These people put themselves in harm’s way for others. You don’t get braver than that. They deserve to be honoured.”
The former baggage handler, who emigrated to the US last year with American wife Christy, said he found out about the Clutha crash through comments made on Facebook by friends in Scotland.
He said: “I found out about an hour after it happened. My wife then told me it was on the news in America.
“We switched the TV on and got some information through BBC America. It was shocking.”
John, who is back in Scotland to spend Christmas with his family, said he did not plan to visit the site as he did not know anyone involved but said his thoughts are with the families involved.
He said: “I just found it so tragic. I feel for the families who have lost loved ones especially given the time of year.
“But the way the people of Glasgow acted shows you what a great place it is.”
A fund set up to help people and families affected by the crash has raised more than £220,000.
The Lord Provost’s Clutha Appeal Fund has attracted tens of thousands of pounds in public donations and cash from private firms and public bodies.
Glasgow City Council has also said a helpline for people affected by the tragedy will remain open over Christmas.
In the weeks since the horror crash, families and friends have mourned the death of 10 people killed in the disaster.
The funeral for 59-year-old Joe Cusker, who died in hospital 13 days after the crash, was held on Wednesday.
Stories have also emerged of the courage of those who tried to help.
Last week we revealed how off-duty nurse Allyson Clow tended to injured people seconds after the crash.
Other heroes included Kenny Hamilton, who rescued someone from the rubble, and retired firefighters Doug Naismith and Eddie Waltham whose training proved vital in the chaos.
MSP Jim Murphy was one of the first on the scene and rushed to help the injured.
We believe they should all honoured for their efforts.
Our calls have already been backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael and Anas Sarwar, local MP for Glasgow Central.
We also revealed last week that the Scottish Government is planning to honour the heroes of the disaster with an official reception in Glasgow.
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