An emotional memorial service has been held for 21 people killed at the Love Parade dance festival in Germany last weekend.
Chancellor Angela Merkel interrupted her holiday to attend the service at the Salvator Church in Duisburg alongside relatives and friends of those who died.
The German President Christian Wulff was also there as Nikolaus Schneider, head of the Rhineland church described the Parade as a “dance of death”.
“Also our tears and our mourning are a ribbon of love that connects us to those who lost their lives. Our ribbons of love are breaking the power of death,” he added.
Nearby, at the site of the disaster, candles were lit for each person who died. All week people have been laying flowers at the exit to the tunnel where the deadly stampede took place.
For some the memories are still too hard to bear. One young man broke down as he recalled what happened.
“Yes, I also found myself on the ground, I was pushed down by the crowd…”
Another young survivor said: “It’s a very strange feeling, It could have happened to us, it’s indescribable, I have no words for it.”
A criminal investigation is underway to determine whether negligent manslaughter charges should be brought. The event organisers have been accused by police of failing to adequately control the crowds which led to a bottleneck at the tunnel, the only entrance to the dance festival.
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