Families of those killed in the Clutha pub disaster in Glasgow have launched the Change.org petition.
Spoiler Alert!: Nearly a thousand people have signed their names to a petition calling on the makers of British soap ‘Emmerdale’ to withdraw a prospective storyline about a helicopter crash in the village, on the grounds that it would be insensitive to the victims of the Clutha Vaults pub disaster in Glasgow.
10 people died in November 2013 after a police helicopter crashed on top of a pub in the centre of Glasgow, and some of the relatives of those killed have launched the Change.org petition to request that ‘Emmerdale’s broadcaster ITV cancel the storyline, due to go out on Tuesday night (August 4th) in an hour-long special episode.
Louise Marwood's character is involved with the controversial storyline
The petition, addressed to the soap’s producer Kate Oates, states: “Show some respect to the Clutha Disaster victims and families by not running a storyline about a helicopter crash.” Kerry McGhee, whose father Samuel was killed in the accident, is one of signatories, and wrote “I find it disgusting that people want to use it as a storyline.”
In the episode, the fictional crash is caused when character Chrissie Sugden (played by Louise Marwood) sets fire to her husband Robert’s (Ryan Hawley) car in an argument about an affair he’s having. The blaze spreads to a scrapyard, causing a gas canister to explode and engulf the helicopter, downing it in the process.
The storyline is one of a handful of plotlines centring around the marriage of characters Debbie Dingle and Pete Barton. The accident will apparently take the lives of a number of the soap’s characters, and viewers will have to tune in to the rest of the week’s episodes to discover the extent of the fallout.
In reaction, Oates said at a press day ahead of the episodes: “I think editorially, whenever you're looking at any potential disaster scenario you have to consider it very carefully. We were really, really careful to make it clear what the cause of the accident is… …it was something that we considered because obviously our intention is always to entertain people, to give them a good story, to thrill them, to upset them in certain kinds of ways sometimes, but it would never be our intention to mimic something like that.”