German Love Parade festival death toll rises

Organisers being blamed for tragedy

German Love Parade festival death toll rises

Photo: PA Photos

The death toll in the Love Parade festival crush has risen to 19 - with some 340 people injured.

And now witnesses have criticised the decision to have just one entrance through a tunnel to the Love Parade, and said they had warned police about overcrowding.

However, the mayor of the small German city of Duisburg hosting the event said that it was too early to blame anyone for the incident.

"The Love Parade has always been a joyful and peaceful party, but in future would always be overshadowed by yesterday's events," Mayor Rainer Schaller said.

"Out of respect for the victims, their families and friends, we are going to discontinue the event in the future, and that means the end of the Love Parade."

An investigation has been launched into the disaster.

Sixteen of the dead have been identified. Four of the victims were foreigners: one from the Netherlands, one from Australia, one from Italy and one from China.

Most of the victims were trampled to death at an entrance tunnel connecting an old railway station to the parade ground. Police closed the exit to the tunnel and those trying to get in were told via loudhailer to turn around, but panic broke out.

Police said the festival attracted about 1.4 million people.

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