Monday, July 26, 2010

Love Parade was cleared for only 250,000 guests

The German techno festival where 19 people died in a stampede on Saturday had authorisation for only 250,000 revellers instead of the 1.4 million who organisers said attended, a media report said late on Sunday.

News magazine Der Spiegel cited a document from local authorities which revealed that Saturday's Love Parade in the western city of Duisburg could not accommodate any more people because of insufficient fire and safety measures.

Allegations have also been made that the authorities had been warned that Duisburg was not suitable for such an event, one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Prosecutors launched an investigation on Sunday.

The deaths occurred as panic broke out in a tunnel packed full of people that served as the only entrance to the festival grounds, police said. More than 340 people were injured.

The dead included seven foreigners, from Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Bosnia and Spain.

Flags in the mourning German city flew at half mast Monday as investigators continued probing allegations over the lax safety measures.

On Sunday deputy police chief Detlef von Schmeling said the victims, aged between 20 and 40, died as they scrambled to escape from a crush in a narrow, 100-metre tunnel that served as the only entrance.

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Source photo: DPA /

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