German soul-searching over Love Parade tragedy

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German soul-searching over Love Parade tragedy

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Why? That is the question the whole of Germany is asking the day after the Love Parade went so horribly wrong.

How could 19 revellers be killed and more than 300 others injured, some seriously, at one of Europe’s most popular dance music festivals?

Security measures have been criticised at the event in Duisburg near Dusseldorf. As a result of the disaster, the long-running techno party, first held in 1989, is now a thing of the past.

“Always a peaceful event and a happy party, the Love Parade will forever be overshadowed by yesterday’s tragic accident,” the event’s organiser Rainer Schaller told a news conference. “Out of respect for the victims, their families and friends, we will discontinue this event. This means the ‘end’ for the Loveparade.”

Panicked partygoers struggled to escape the deadly crush at a tunnel leading to the festival. Police have defended their handling of security but provided few clues as to how the tragedy occurred.

They insist their helicopters had seen no signs of overcrowding at the site and estimate far fewer people attended than the 1.4 million first announced.

Victims of the stampede include a Dutch, an Australian, an Italian and a Chinese national.