THE operators of a helicopter which crashed into the Clutha pub in Glasgow, claiming 10 lives, have begun making payments to the victims.

Thompsons Solicitors, who are representing more than 50 victims, said the move will help their clients cover loss of salary while compen-sation is agreed.

Ten people died and more than 30 were taken to hospital after a police helicopter crashed through the roof of the bar on November 29.

The lawyers said many victims have been unable to work since and have incurred significant loss of earnings.

Hannah Bennett, a lawyer with Thompson's Clutha legal team, said: "The commencement of interim payments from Bond Helicopters to Clutha victims is a significant milestone and is welcomed.

"Many of our clients are suffering ongoing physical and psychol-ogical symptoms as a result of their involve-ment in this tragic and life-changing event.

"The last thing our clients need right now is concern over financial issues.

"Securing the payment of interim compensation from Bond will help address these financial concerns while we work towards securing our clients a full award of compensation."

The payments are being made to the injured and to the families of those killed or injured.

Bond said: "Since the tragedy at the Clutha, we have been working with Glasgow City Council and other parties to see how bereaved families and the local community can best be supported.

"While the causes of the tragedy remain unknown, we confirmed from the outset that we were committed to ensuring proper compensation was paid to all who have suffered loss."