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Love Parade death toll climbs to 19

DDP/DPA/The Local · 25 Jul 2010, 15:50

Published: 25 Jul 2010 15:50 GMT+02:00

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Officials said 16 people died on the scene on Saturday afternoon and a further three died of their injuries during the evening and overnight. More than 340 people are reportedly injured, many of them seriously.

The deadly incident has sparked questions about the crowd management and safety concept of organisers, while an investigation has been launched to try to determine the cause of what is being called a catastrophe.

An estimated 1.4 million people attended the free techno music festival in the Ruhr city of Duisburg, and as always, the Love Parade was proceeding peacefully.

Click here for photos of the Love Parade aftermath.

Problems began to develop on the way to the disused freight railway depot where the final party was to be held. The huge crowd had been directed along two different routes to get there, but these merged into a low-built tunnel – the entrance and exit to the depot.

There an enormous pressure began to build as people pushed forwards to get through the tunnel. Early reports suggested that organisers had at least partly blocked off the exit of the tunnel into the large space on the other side as it was already overfilled.

People started fainting and collapsing inside the tunnel, which reports say grew very hot. This prompted many to try to avoid the tunnel altogether and climb up a stairway and a wall. When a number of people who had adopted this tactic fell into the crowd panic broke out.

Police and ambulance crews were unable to get into the tunnel to try to pull injured people out as it was simply rammed full of people unable to move forwards or backwards – eyewitnesses reported desperately trying to remain on their feet in fear that they would be crushed or trampled.

Emergency services took hours to reach everyone who needed attention and hearses were leaving with bodies until midnight.

Organisers did not cancel the party, fearing further panic, so the hundreds of thousands of ravers who had already got into the party continued to dance to the DJs who carried on playing. Only when word of the disaster started to spread did people begin to leave, finding the emergency exits had been opened and buses had been stationed to help them get home.

Story continues below…

As the investigation began on Sunday, questions arose about why only one entry and exit point had been set up to an area which could hold a maximum of 250,000 people – particularly when more than a million were intending to attend.

The Love Parade, which began as a politically-motivated march in Berlin in 1989, has turned into what is often billed as the world’s biggest techno party. It left the German capital in 2007, and was afterwards organised in various towns in the Ruhr area.

Last year Bochum failed to find a suitable venue, and the party did not take place. This year it was billed as one of the biggest events of the Ruhr.2010 culture capital festival.

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DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

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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