July 24, 2010 19:30

Festival goers killed in crowd crush at Germany's Love Parade

At least 100 more injured, dozens seriously

Festival goers killed in crowd crush at Germany's  Love Parade
At least 19 people have been killed this afternoon at the Love Parade dance music festival in the German city of Duisburg.

The incident unfolded as police tried to stop people reaching the parade area through a tunnel from an old railway station because of overcrowding. However, this triggered a crush at a tunnel entrance as large numbers tried to turn back leading to the music fans to be trampled to death.

About 100 people were also injured, dozens seriously.

Over one million people had been expected to attend the event, and already it has been claimed by some observers that the town was not big enough to cope with such an influx of people. Festival-goers are blaming organisers for having just one entrance, via a tunnel, for the whole event.

Some eyewitnesses say police were warned of a huge crowd build-up and some report seeing dozens of people piled up on one another, reports [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10753448]BBC News[/ul].

Emergency workers reportedly had difficulty reaching those crushed.

One festival-goer, named Marius, told the Bild newspaper: "There was no escape. People were pressed into the wall. I was afraid I'd die."

Despite the deaths, it was decided not to bring a halt to the festival or to evacuate the site because the large numbers attending would lead to problems in trying to disperse them quickly.

City spokesman Frank Kopatschek]/b] said: "The crisis meeting determined not to stop the event because at the moment there are too many people on the grounds."

The event began in [b]Berlin
in 1989 as a peace demonstration and developed into a huge open-air music festival. It moved out of German capital following the 2006 parade, with an estimated 1.4 million people expected to attend this year's event.

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