Wishart demands apology from the First Minister

Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart has demanded an apology from the First Minister for the delayed Fatal Accident Inquiry into the helicopter crash near Sumburgh airport seven years ago.

Four offshore workers were killed when a Super Puma helicopter crashed on its approach to Sumburgh airport in Shetland in August 2013. An accident report was completed in 2016, but a Fatal Accident Inquiry is yet to be concluded.

Last week, at the preliminary hearing of the Inquiry Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle said that seven years was “too long”, and that the wait was “something to be deplored”.

The First Minister responded by saying that was not for her to direct the Lord Advocate on the conduct of these inquiries.

Commenting following the exchange, Ms Wishart said:

“The needless delay for an FAI determination will have caused families even more pain, to follow what was already an unimaginably tragic event. There can be no good reason for that.  

“As well as causing more pain for the families involved, evidence is lost, memories fade and lessons can’t be learned.

“That’s not to mention the years of anxiety for those in Shetland and beyond working in the oil and gas industry in the North Sea, who are continuing to work without understanding why this accident happened.

“This is just more evidence to show that the Crown Office is incapable of handling FAIs. The Scottish Government need to move the responsibility elsewhere.”

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