July 26, 2010 15:57

German police chief: 'Love Parade organisers ignored my warnings'

Officer says he warned organisers and mayor that site was 'unsuitable'

German police chief: 'Love Parade organisers ignored my warnings'

Photo: PA Photos

The head of the German national police union has said that Love Parade organisers ignored a warning about the safety of the event before 19 people were killed in a crush at the event on Saturday (July 24).

Wendt said that last year he told organisers, including mayor of Duisburg Rainer Schaller, that the site in the city was unsuitable because it was "too small".

As previously reported, 19 people died as a crush took place at the sole entrance to the site, with hundreds more injured.

"I warned them a year ago that Duisburg is not a suitable location for the Love Parade. It's too small and too cramped," Wendt told the Bild newspaper. "The mayor was under immense pressure – he didn't want to be the party pooper."

He added: "In Bochum, there was no Love Parade in 2009 because the city listened to our concerns about safety. In Duisburg they wouldn't hear it."

German investigators are looking into the possibility of charges of negligent homicide in relation to the deaths. State prosecutor Rolf Haferkamp is examining security plans for the event.

Police said that 1.4 million people could have attended the event, which was supposed to host 250,000 people.

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