In 2010, Germany’s Love Parade festival ended in tragedy when 21 people were crushed to death in a stampede.
Now, four years later, 10 people have finally been charged over the deaths by German prosecutors, with charges including involuntary manslaughter and bodily harm. Those accused are six private event organizers and four city workers, and if convicted they could be facing up to five years in jail.
The incident happened because of poor planning and overcrowding, and was exacerbated by an entry gate that was far too small for the masses of people who had flooded to Duisburg to attend the festival.
State prosecutors investigated exactly how it was possible that an event which was supposed to cap out at 250,000 attendees ended up with a headcount of almost 500,000. It was established that the festival had not correctly assessed the access points, and that the city employees should not have issued the festival with a permit in the first place.
City prosecutor Horst Bien maintained “We weren’t looking to see who was morally or politically responsible but instead focused only on who was criminally liable,” adding “mistakes in planning were the main reason for the disaster.” [via The Guardian]