Germany

Inquiry blames Love Parade organisers, reports German newspaper

Photo: Reuters

Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports." > Organisers of the Love Parade were at least partly to blame for the crush that killed 20 last Saturday, according to a report cited by a German newspaper on Wednesday. A preliminary report  says organisers ignored warnings about safety and made poor judgements about how festival-goers would react once they reached the festival grounds, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports.

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The daily newspaper says organiser Rainer Schaller incorrectly assessed how crowds would respond when they arrived at the festival in the city of Duisburg. He did not believe that there would be a blockage at the site and instead thought that parade floats would break up the crowds.

The report will say that festival floats were too close to the tunnel’s exit and food stalls encouraged people to stay in the area, adding to the bottle-neck. It also says there were not as many security staff as promised and there were not any video cameras.

Schaller, defending himself in an interview with the Bild newspaper, said he “never put anyone under pressure” to hold the festival.

He recognised that there were worries about an event of this size, but that the city of Duisburg was responsible, since officials had authorised the parade.

Ralf Jaeger, the North-Rhine Westphalia Interior Minister, is due to present findings from the initial investigation later on Wednesday.

A memorial service for the victims of the crush will be held on Saturday. Chancellor Angela Merkel will interrupt her summer holiday to attend the service, according to a government spokesperson.

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