What was meant to be a day of fun at a German festival has ended in tragedy as at least 18 people were crushed to death. Now, serious questions are being asked about what went wrong, with some blaming poor organisation.
Hanelore Kraft, State Premier of North Rhine Westphalia, said: “This has to be investigated properly and we should not jump to conclusions. The fact is that there was a bottleneck and they knew about it. It should have been better organised. We will have to find out exactly what happened.”
Witnesses described a stampede, with many being trampled as people fought to get out of the tunnel. The city declared a state of emergency, as rescue workers struggled to cope.
One man who did not attend the festival said he noticed the problem long before the event started.
“Three days ago, I thought the organisers were stupid because they only had one entrance point to the Love Parade. You can’t lock so many people out behind a fence. It does not work,” he said.
As many as 170 people were treated at the nearby Bethesda hospital. About 25 were admitted, and some of them are critically ill.