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Fifteen dead in Love Parade stampede

AFP · 24 Jul 2010, 20:32

Published: 24 Jul 2010 19:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Jul 2010 20:32 GMT+02:00

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Another 100 people were lightly injured in the incident. Nine of the dead were women and six were men, police said.

Organisers said 1.4 million people had turned out for the day-long open-air festival in Duisburg, a city of 500,000 just north of Düsseldorf, with most of them unaware of the incident, the NTV television network reported.

The tunnel led to a disused freight railway yard where the festival was taking place. It was not immediately what sparked the initial panic.

Fearing further mass panic, local officials opted against an immediate evacuation of the festival grounds where tens of thousands of revellers were still gathered late in the afternoon, a city spokesman said.

Television footage showed emergency personnel working frantically at the tunnel while a line of revellers filed away slowly from the scene.

Dozens of ambulances and emergency vehicles were parked nearby, while medical tents had been set up. Several helicopters had landed on an elevated motorway bridge near the scene, which police had closed off with bollards.

First held in Berlin in 1989, the Love Parade is one of the biggest techno festivals in Europe, featuring world-renowed DJs spinning their turntables onstage as fans dance and throb to the beat.

It moved from Berlin from 2007 onwards after disagreements with the city authorities over logistics and security and has been held in several other German cities in recent years.

Story continues below…

Deadly stampedes of this kind are rare in Europe but have happened elsewhere in the world in recent years.

In May 2009 11 people were killed, most of them women and children, in a stampede at a world music festival in the Moroccan capital Rabat, which featured such pop stars as Kylie Minogue.

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Your comments about this article

22:19 July 24, 2010 by pepsionice
I would imagine someone set off a firecracker or smoke-bomb...and the crowd simply over-reacted.
23:38 July 24, 2010 by cobalisk
This is a terrible tragedy, just awful.

The event is too fresh so the initial causes are unknown. Sure we can guess and speculate what the cause was, but likely, when the information comes out it will not be what was assumed.

I am waiting to hear the results of the investigation. I am keen to learn if key egress points were blocked leading to people being trapped. They may not have been, however, in many previous episodes of mass movement resulting in fatalities the victims are often forced against partially yielding obstacles such as fences or scalable objects like metal rails. When panic ensues people are trying to flee and most egress points are either blocked or severely constricted with people. The crowd then surges toward safety/security barriers which can be overcome such as fencing or high metal bars which are sieged in the hopes of breaking or clearing them. In the attempts to do so people are crushed against them.
23:53 July 24, 2010 by claudegaveau
A real tragedy. I was at the love parade years ago in Berlin and really enjoyed it. Somehow, I think it couldn't be the same in another city. Nevertheless, my best thoughts are with the families and friends of those who got killed and hurt.
11:41 July 25, 2010 by claudegaveau
If it hadn't been about money, the love parade would never have left Berlin and this wouldn't have happened.
13:07 July 25, 2010 by Jazzineva
The more I listen to the reports on this tragedy and how it came about, the angrier I get. From the very beginning in picking this site which normally only holds 250,000 and the Love Parade regularly draws a million or more, all the planners were idiotic. It was an accident begging to happen and the warnings that came days earlier and hours earlier were blatantly ignored. I hope the planners and officials pay up big time.
13:07 July 25, 2010 by iche
DR. Motte has allot of Nerve.

HE, is the reason why the love parade is no longer in Berlin

He turned it from a demonstration, into a big money spinner. And would not give any money back to the city for the damages he did to the Tier Garten.

Even after he recieved BIG money from Sponsors like Marlboro and Coca Cola.

So the DJs and many other rebelled heavily against him.

He was basically thrown out of Berlin by all of those against it.

He has some big nuts making comments like he does.
14:43 July 25, 2010 by Annika669
A tragedy, indeed, that could have been avoided - why not listen to the professionals when it comes to security? Everyone who went there wanted to be part of the Love Parade - what did an entrance ticket cost? Seems to me, the fee was too low to grant a secure event... there might be other economical aspects, as mentioned in the article. Shame!
14:52 July 25, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Agree with iche. Dr. Motte can take a portion of the blame for this. It was his greed that led it to unsafe locations and into the hands of money mongers. If he had been true to his own doctrine of what the spirit of the love parade was, he would have cooperated with the city of Berlin and helped finance keeping the love parade at home where it belonged and in safe hands.
20:55 July 25, 2010 by dandmb50
What were they thinking, one entrance for all those people and no exit anywhere? Very sad, and people must die and miss out on future concerts because of bad organization. Very sad and those responsible for the tragedy must be put in jail.

Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
00:49 July 26, 2010 by whatzup
A dubious event comes to a bad end. Hopefully the bereaved families will recover handsomely from the city and/or its insurers.
02:23 July 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The city of Duisberg's liability seems clear, if this report is to be believed.

So much for trying to reinvent Woodstock in a city that can't handle crowds.
07:04 July 26, 2010 by derExDeutsche
this is just one of those things that happens. nobody meant for this. I don't think a Witch Hunt is in order. No AMOUNT is going to bring anybody back. Lets plan 'Woodstock' better the next time.

like sigur ros said

inní mér syngur vitleysingur
09:21 July 26, 2010 by freechoice
How could people seeking 'Love' ended up as a disaster??

Did they seek the right Love?
10:08 July 26, 2010 by whatzup
I wonder what percentage of the folks attending this fiasco were high on something. Being debilitated doesn't help people cope in times of crisis.
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