A FATAL accident inquiry will be held into the Super Puma helicopter crash off Shetland that claimed four lives – with the announcement coming nearly six years after the tragedy occurred.

Passengers George Allison, Sarah Darnley, Duncan Munro and Gary McCrossan died and 14 others were rescued when the aircraft plunged into the sea two miles from Sumburgh Airport during a flight transferring oil workers.

A date and venue for the inquiry have yet to be announced.

The Crown Office said in a statement: “The investigation into the helicopter crash off Sumburgh in Shetland in August 2013 that resulted in the loss of four lives has reached a significant stage.

“Crown counsel have instructed that a fatal accident inquiry be held into the deaths of Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison. In coming to this decision, Crown counsel have considered the available evidence, the recommendations of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service helicopter incidents investigation team and expert opinion. The investigation by the police, with officers working closely with the COPFS helicopter team, has been complex and challenging. COPFS will now work closely with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to make suitable arrangements for holding the inquiry.”

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has made repeated calls for an inquiry. He said: “I am very pleased the uncertainty is now over. It has taken too long for a FAI to be confirmed.”

Mick Cash, general secretary of offshore workers’ union RMT said: “The time that has elapsed since this event illustrates that the process for considering prosecution and conducting inquiries is broken.”