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Love Parade witnesses say police ordered fatal fence opening

The Local · 30 Jan 2011, 12:49

Published: 30 Jan 2011 12:49 GMT+01:00

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Panic broke out after too many people tried to get into the main venue of the massive rave in Duisburg. They were guided through a tunnel through which they did not fit – and met people trying to leave. People were killed in the crush and many more injured, while hundreds tried to escape by climbing up an embankment.

An investigation launched soon after the July 24 incident is now officially investigating 16 suspects for negligent manslaughter and negligently causing bodily harm. These include a leading police officer, Der Spiegel reported at the weekend.

It said that several members of the private security firm which provided stewards have now testified that it was a police officer who gave the fateful order to open the barriers and let the people through – despite the decision by organisers to close them in the case of threatened overcrowding.

“The officer took no notice of our protests that this would lead to a jam in the entrance tunnel and we had to follow his orders,” one of the stewards told the magazine.

It said several stewards have provided statements to the same effect – and that police officers demanded they hand over a tool with which to unlink elements of the barrier fencing. This tool – a piece of evidence - seems to have disappeared, the magazine said.

“The public prosecutor has to check whether the facts support this,” a spokesman for the North-Rhine Westphalia interior ministry said. Should this order have been issued, it would be for the justice system to decide whether this contributed to the disaster.

Story continues below…

The order was given – if it was given – shortly after 3 pm while it was shortly after 5 pm that the first reports were received of people being hurt in the tunnel.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:06 January 30, 2011 by pepsionice
The story may be true...but the crush would likely have occurred at one location or the other. The more you dig into the episode....the less planning and coordination you see.
02:07 January 31, 2011 by chicagolive
No matter what event in Germany is going on outside the Polizei always have their hand in it, and knowing that a event friend of mine said the same thing it does not surprise me that the police want to cover it up how much their actual involvement was.
09:24 January 31, 2011 by catjones
These investigations are mere foreplay. The blame will end up with the victims.
12:11 January 31, 2011 by stux
I am not defending the planners, but surely some of the blame should be put on the people stampeding others to death. I have been to a few crowded events in Germany and know how rough people are when it comes to getting in front of others. It is similiar to the jerks on the autobahn that try to push you out of the way although there are ten cars in front of you.

Looking at it from the point of view of a drugged up 18 year old trying to get into a rave, yeah I guess the police and organizers are to blame . . .
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