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24-07-2010
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At least 15 trampled to death at Germany's Loveparade
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At least 15 people have been trampled to death on their way to the Loveparade techno music festival in Duisburg, Germany. The festival-goers were crushed in a tunnel on their way to festival grounds, according to police.

At least 15 people have been trampled to death on their way to attend the Loveparade techno music festival in the western German city of Duisburg on Saturday.

The tragedy occurred in a tunnel on the way to the festival grounds as police were trying to prevent people from entering the overcrowded site. Thousands of fans had been walking along a hundred-meter pathway toward the festival for several hours, many of them intoxicated.

According to eyewitnesses, people were unable to move forward or backward, sparking a panic and stampede. At least nine women and six men were killed, and others remain in critical condition.

Duisburg police commissioner Juergen Kieskemper described the situation as "very chaotic," and said they were still trying to determine exactly what happened.

'No turning back'

Festival-goers described a mass of people pushing with unstoppable force.

It took Sergei Benkogenov and Vitaly Dippel from Hamm three hours to reach the festival grounds from Duisburg's train station. At some point, they wondered if their efforts were worth it.

"We really would have liked to turn around and go home," said 19-year-old Benkogenov, "but it was impossible. There was no turning back."

"No one knew where the Loveparade started," Bekogenov added. "The line was endless."

Right before reports of the stampede, with thousands in line waiting to get in, police announced at 5:34 p.m. that the festival grounds had reached capacity and were being closed.

"The police announced by loudspeaker that participants should return in the direction of the train station," said one eyewitness.

Authorities, however, later said at a press conference at the Duisburg city hall that the festival grounds were not yet filled at the time of the tragedy.

City authorities confirmed that 15 people had died and said an additional 80 were injured in the tunnel. Facing the crush of the crowd, paramedics had difficulty getting through to the site.

Merkel, Wulff express condolences

German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered her sympathy to the victims' families, saying she was "horrified" that "young people went to party" and were instead met by "deaths and injuries."

German President Christian Wulff also expressed his condolences Saturday evening in Berlin for the victims of the tragedy that had "caused death, sorrow and pain amidst a peaceful festival of cheerful young people from many countries."

"My thoughts are with the victims of the tragedy and with all their family and friends," Wulff said, adding that he hoped for a full explanation as to the causes of the incident.

Party goes on

Spokesman Frank Kopatschek told news agency dpa that "the city of Duisburg's action committee has decided not to end the festival for now, for safety reasons."

Kopatschek said the city was concerned about preventing further panic among the 1.4 million people in attendance.

Police have activated a hotline for family members of festival-goers anxious about the well-being of their loved ones.

The Loveparade festival began in Berlin in 1989.
dw-world.de

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24-07-2010
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I would NEVER go to any kind of party with that many people. I'd lose my mind. So sad though.

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24-07-2010
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After seeing the images, I'm outraged and horrified in equal measure... What the organizers were thinking when they enable a single entry to the festival under a tunnel?? And just thinking about what this poor people had to suffer it makes me shudder.

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24-07-2010
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Quote:
18 dead in Love Parade stampede
Eighteen people have been killed in Germany during the country’s annual “Love Parade”, held this year in the former industrial Ruhr city of Duisburg.
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Officials and eyewitnesses spoke of a mass stampede in which people were trampled under foot. At least 40 others were injured, some seriously, and many police and ambulance personnel were seen giving the kiss of life to victims.

What should have been a celebration of techno-music and dance turned into horror near the field where hundreds of thousands gathered during the afternoon. Many continued to party even as the air was filled the noise of police sirens, unaware of the tragedy taking place behind them.

Rescue squads had to fight their way through an ocean of people, many of whom were inebriated although friendly. “They simply had no idea of the scale of the tragedy,” said a police spokesman.

A state of emergency was declared in the city by the local authority as the extent of the horror unfolded.

Officials estimated that between 500,000 and a million people descended on Duisburg for the day-long techno music festival, that was first held in Berlin in 1989 but moved to the Ruhr area, Germany’s former industrial heartland, in 2007 following disagreements with the capital’s authorities over logistics and security.

Police said the victims were trampled to death in an underpass connecting a railway goods yard where the partygoers assembled to the parade ground itself.

“It was hell,” said Karl Lowenstein, 21, from Bielefeld. “The tunnel was dark, it was full. Something happened - whether someone tripped or someone fell I don’t know. But there was a stampede to get to the other end and those who fell… well, many of them never got up again.”

Another witness who gave his first name as Fabio said he tried to warn police before the stampede occurred that a catastrophe was building.

“A friend and I got out as hundreds more poured in,” he said. “We tried to tell them to close it down, but they didn’t listen. This was about 45 minutes before people were killed.”

Police and ambulances raced down the neighbouring A59 motorway to try to reach the dead and dying but complained that thousands of youngsters meandering over the carriageways hindered the rescue effort. Helicopters also landed on the autobahn to ferry the seriously injured to hospital.

Crowds of people going one way through the underpass had “totally overfilled it,” according to police. But there were reports that others had also tried to force their way in the opposite direction. “They met in the middle and there was a tragedy,” reported Radio Bayern.

More than 1,200 police officers were on duty but officials said they had been powerless to prevent the accident. “It is a catastrophe that we are struggling to cope with,“ a police spokesman shortly after the disaster at 5.00pm on Saturday.

Kevin Krausgartner, 21, from the nearby city of Wuppertal, was in the tunnel when the stampede occurred. “I have never seen anything like it,” he said. “I saw 25 people piled on top of one another, a huge heap. I cried.

“The people couldn’t get any air. I saw the dead there. One person was completely pale and I wanted to give him some water but a medic said that wouldn’t help him - he was already gone.

“I saw police on the bridge just standing there and they didn’t do anything.”

Kai Vogelman, a spokesman for the Malteser International aid organisation - similar to the Red Cross - said partying continued in the northern sector of the Love Parade ground while the emergency services struggled to cope with the disaster in the southern area.

Police commissioner Jürgen Kieskemper said: “The situation is chaotic. We have much to clarify here.”

The main railway station in Duisburg was closed because of the number of young people wandering across the tracks, a railway spokesman said.
telegraph.co.uk

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24-07-2010
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youtube.com/user/itnnews

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25-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolasa View Post
After seeing the images, I'm outraged and horrified in equal measure... What the organizers were thinking when they enable a single entry to the festival under a tunnel?? And just thinking about what this poor people had to suffer it makes me shudder.
1 million people, that is just crazy! And ONE entrance? I hope the organizers will be severely punished. This is awful.

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25-07-2010
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That is horrible. Such an awful and terrifying way to go.

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25-07-2010
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omg How awful

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25-07-2010
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really tragic..it's confirmed now that 19 people died.

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25-07-2010
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This was the last Love Parade ever...I can certainly understand why.

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25-07-2010
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I heard 4 million at one stage.

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25-07-2010
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Quote:
Love Parade cancelled permanently as police investigate causes of crush that killed 19
The organiser of the Love Parade says the yearly techno music festival will never be held again after19 people were killed and 342 were injured in a panicked crush in an entrance tunnel.
Quote:
The death toll rose to 19 on Sunday and police said that 342 had been injured in a panicked crush of partygoers in an overcrowded tunnel that served as the sole entrance to a German festival billed as the world's largest techno music party.

"The Love Parade was always a peaceful event and a happy party" but would forever be overshadowed by the tragedy, Rainer Schaller said. "It's over for the Love Parade."

Authorities faced tough questions at a press conference over why hundreds of thousands of people were funneled through a single highway underpass. They provided few details.

German media reported that there were at least 1.4 million people there.

Witnesses said the crush began after officers closed the end of the tunnel emptying onto the festival grounds after they become overcrowded around 5 p.m. The entrance to the tunnel did not appear to have been closed and people continued piling in.

German media reported that there were at least 1.4 million people but police did not confirm that estimate.

Detlef von Schmeling, the police chief in Duisburg, said that 16 of the 19 people killed have been identified so far. He said they include an Australian, an Italian, a Chinese citizen and a person from Holland.

Mr Von Schmeling said their ages ranged from just over 20 to 40.

Witnesses said officers in Duisburg, a city near Duesseldorf in western Germany, closed the end of the tunnel emptying onto the festival grounds after they become overcrowded around 5 p.m. They told revelers over loudspeakers to turn around and walk back in the other direction. But the entrance to the tunnel did not appear to have been closed and people continued piling in, sparking a panic and then a deadly crush.

Witnesses described a desperate scene, as people piled up on each other or scrambled over others who had fallen.

Partygoer Udo Sandhoefer told n-tv television that even though no one else was being let in, people still streamed into the tunnel, causing "a real mass panic."

"At some point the column (of people) got stuck, probably because everything was closed up front, and we saw that the first people were already lying on the ground," he said.

City officials chose not to evacuate the site, fearing it might spark more panic, and many people continued partying, unaware of the deaths.Rescue workers carried away the injured as techno music thundered in the background.

Other workers had trouble getting to the victims, hampered by the huge crowds. Local media reported that the cell phone system in Duisburg broke down temporarily and frantic parents trying to reach their children instead drove to the scene to look for them.

However, most streets downtown were blocked by police and the highways leading to the city were jammed. Several media outlets also reported that rescue helicopters had problems taking away the heavily injured because there was not enough space for them to land.

The founder of the Love Parade, Matthias Roeingh, known by the name Dr. Motte, blasted the planning for the event, saying "one single entrance through a tunnel lends itself to disaster. I am very sad."

German leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, voiced shock that an event meant to celebrate youth, peace and love could turn so deadly.

"The young people came to celebrate and instead there are dead and injured," Merkel said Saturday. "I am horrified by the suffering and the pain."

It was the worst accident of its kind since nine people were crushed to death and 43 more were injured at a rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark, in 2000.
telegraph.co.uk


Last edited by Nicolasa; 25-07-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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25-07-2010
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really horrific
what makes it even sadder is that it was preventable if it had been better organized

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25-07-2010
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This is so sad.. I have actually gone to LoveParade in the US a couple of times and I can understand. There are so many people there that you feel claustrophobic and you cannot breathe. May these people rest in peace and I pray for their families.

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25-07-2010
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Only one entrance for that many people, are you kidding?! This is so sad and such a sad way to go

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