Sunday, 24 February 2019

"... it became clear that there wasn't going to be any survivors"

[What follows is excerpted from a report headlined Witnessing Lockerbie tragedy was calling from God says Largs chaplain published today on the website of the Largs & Millport Weekly News:]

A Largs chaplain who witnessed the horrors of the Lockerbie bombing says he believes the tragedy was God preparing him for life as a minister.

Pastor Gordon Weir, 51, told the News how he is still haunted by the horrific scenes in the town straight after the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988.

He was living in Dumfries and working as clerk for the health service, delivering equipment and ensuring the region's hospitals and GP's were well stocked.

Gordon, of Brisbane Evangelical Church, said: "The night it happened I had just got home from work when the phone rang.

"It was my boss telling me he had called me a taxi and I had to get back in to work. I thought he was joking, but right enough there was a taxi outside my door.

"I got the story on the way in, that a jet had fallen from the sky and crashed in Lockerbie and that we had to set the hospital up for any emergencies coming in.

"Five people came in who had been on the ground and been hit with flying debris and we helped them. We were waiting for people from the plane, but as the night went on it became clear that there wasn't going to be any survivors.

"The next day myself and another worker were asked to take x-ray equipment to Lockerbie.

"They were going to use it to identify bodies in the wreckage.

"I will never forget driving in to the site, with the police combing the fields for bodies while in the main street it was packed with camera crews from across the world. Within 12 hours the whole world had arrived in the little town.

"I will never forget it. I saw some horrific things, there were still bodies lying and police were still trying to identify them.

"I think in a weird way, although I didn't know it at the time, seeing those people dealing with real trauma, was God preparing me."

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