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Hillsborough, football stadium crush

The 1989 Hillsborough disaster was an incident that occurred during the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs on 15 April 1989 at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. The crush resulted in the deaths of 96 people and injuries to 766 others. The incident has since been blamed primarily on the police. The incident remains the worst stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the world’s worst football disasters.

Football clubs contest the semi-final of the FA Cup at a neutral venue, and in 1989 Hillsborough was selected by the Football Association. While opposing supporters were segregated in the stadium, Liverpool fans were allocated the Leppings Lane stand, reached by a limited number of turnstiles. Entry to the ground was slow due to the few decrepit turnstiles available to the Liverpool fans which caused dangerous overcrowding outside the ground before kick-off. In an attempt to ease pressure outside the ground, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield ordered an exit gate to be opened.

The ensuing influx of supporters caused crushing and some fans climbed over side fences or were lifted by fellow supporters onto the stand above to escape the crush. Moments after kick-off, a crush barrier broke and fans began to fall on top of each other. The game was stopped after six minutes. To carry away the injured, supporters tore down advertising hoardings to use as stretchers and emergency services were called to provide assistance. Of the 96 people who died, 14 were admitted to hospital.
The 1990 official inquiry into the disaster, the Taylor Report, concluded "the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control."

On the 20th anniversary of the disaster, government minister Andy Burnham called for the police, ambulance and all other public agencies to release documents which were not made available to Lord Justice Taylor in 1989. This action led to the formation of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which in September 2012 concluded that no Liverpool fans were responsible for the deaths, and that attempts had been made by the authorities to conceal what happened, including the alteration by police of 116 statements relating to the disaster.

In September 2012, the Hillsborough Independent Panel concluded that up to 41 of the 96 fatalities might have been avoided had they received prompt medical treatment. On 19 December 2012, a new inquest was granted in the High Court, to the relief of the families and friends of the Hillsborough deceased.

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