Originally held to promote peace through music more than 20 years ago, this year’s Love Parade will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Germans woke up to the worst of headlines with the Duisburg drama dubbed a ‘Death Parade’. Some reports say escape routes were closed.
Partying in their gardens just next to the tunnel entrance, locals saw the panic first hand.
“When it was closed at the front there to bring this area under control, they started going through our gardens,” said resident Nicole Abassi. “We used our dogs and spades and anything we could find to try and control the flow of people, alongside the security staff, who were themselves almost overwhelmed.”
“At first, we were just worried about ourselves but when we heard that people had died, our party was over because we were standing here unable to help,” added fellow resident Birgitt Witt. “We were drawn into something which we did not want to be drawn into and we could not help.”
It was meant to be a celebration of techno music in the sun. Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “appalled and saddened by so much suffering and pain”.