Techno festival organizers on trial in Düsseldorf over 21 deaths during stampede.
Organizers of Germany’s 2010 Love Parade went on trial on Friday for their roles in the deaths of 21 young people during a catastrophic stampede at the popular street festival.
Four staff members from the event company Lopavent and six officials from Duisburg city, in western Germany, face charges of negligent manslaughter and bodily harm over the disaster. Thirteen women and eight men were crushed, trampled to death or suffocated on July 24th, 2010 when panic broke out in a narrow tunnel that served as the only entrance and exit to the techno music event.
More than 650 people were also injured in the stampede that saw victims squashed against fences and walls.
The long-awaited trial is one of the largest criminal cases Germany has ever seen, with the accused being represented by 32 lawyers while survivors, acting as co-plaintiffs, have enlisted nearly 40 lawyers. The scale of the trial and the huge public interest have forced court officials to move the proceedings to a 500-seat convention hall in nearby Düsseldorf.
Love Parade founder DJ Dr. Motte said he hoped the trial would “shed full light” on exactly how the tragedy happened.
“That’s what the parents want, and that’s what matters most,” he told DPA news agency.
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