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Love Parade victims offered more aid

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Love Parade victims offered more aid
Photo: DPA
17:54 CEST+02:00
The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday said it would support the victims of the Love Parade tragedy in Duisburg with €1 million in immediate aid. Meanwhile the removal of the city's embattled mayor looked less likely.

The financial support for the survivors of the 21 people killed and the hundreds injured in a crowd crush at the techno music event will come from a fund announced by the state's premier Hannelore Kraft this weekend at a memorial for the victims.

“The state of North Rhine-Westphalia will help the most drastically affected victims of the catastrophe on humanitarian grounds in order to ease social emergencies,” the state government said in a statement.

The aid can be unbureaucratically requested by the state's accident insurer (Landesunfallkasse) in order to help defray costs such as hospital visits.

Love Parade organisers are accused of allowing woefully inadequate security plans to channel hundreds of thousands of party-goers through a narrow tunnel into a main dance area in Duisburg on July 24, eventually causing the crushing deaths of 21 people and injuring more than 500.

Meanwhile the voting out of Duisburg's much criticised mayor, Adolf Sauerland, looked less likely on Tuesday, after his conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) said they saw no compelling reason for his removal.

The Social Democrats, The Left party and the Free Democrats in the Ruhr Valley city are all demanding Sauerland be voted out of office at a special meeting of the Duisburg city council.

The mayor on Monday reiterated his refusal to resign over the incident but said he would submit to being voted out by the council. However, a CDU spokesman in Duisburg said on Tuesday that the party condemned the “one-sided prejudgement of Mayor Adolf Sauerland,” making it unlikely the council could muster a two-thirds majority for his removal.

According to “strictly confidential” documents seen by the daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Tuesday, the Love Parade organisers Lopavent tried to pressure Duisburg city officials to keep the expected number of visitors low to ease its approval.

The event location was only able to accommodate around 250,000 people even though a crowd of over a million was expected to turn up. Lopavent also admitted in the 34-page document to dramatically overstating crowd sizes at previous Love Parades held in Essen and Dortmund “for media purposes" and to recommending that Duisburg officials participate in the deception this year.

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