I arrived home late last night to the news that a helicopter had crashed into the Clutha bar on the north bank of the River Clyde.
Yesterday, watching events unfold through social media and the BBC, it felt like all of Glasgow was staying awake with me. This morning, as the rest of the country turned on their televisions, I woke up to calls and text messages from family and friends in England asking if I was all right. And towards the end of the day, I got a couple of phone calls that made me realise that the whole world has been watching.
So. I wasn’t involved. I’m fine.
I was at an end-of-rotation night out in a restaurant on the other side of the city. It had been my twelfth day of twelve days on, and if I hadn’t been out with colleagues probably I would have been asleep before it happened. Instead, I stayed up with two friends, both medics, the three of us all looking at our news feeds in mounting horror and trying to figure out what we were supposed to do — go into work? to our hospitals or to the nearest also-receiving EDs? phone in? stay put and wait for the phone to ring? It’s a very surreal experience, sitting on Twitter at one in the morning and cursing yourself for never having asked about the major incident plan. In the end, after much frantic Googling, we stayed at home and went to sleep, reasonably reassured that we would be called in if we were needed.
There have been eight confirmed fatalities. There are still people trapped inside the Clutha. Tonight will be another long one for the emergency responders, for the people working in our EDs, for the families of the missing, for Glasgow. I will be praying for them, and I will be remembering how proud I am of the people of my beloved city and how they responded last night.