UK prime minister apologizes for deadly football stampede investigation
LONDON, September 13 - RAPSI. UK Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologized for the faults of the investigation of a deadly stampede that occurred at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.
The stampede occurred during the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs. It claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans and left more than 760 injured. Initially, the investigators blamed the fans and the structural deficiencies of the stadium.
On Wednesday, the conclusions of an independent commission headed by Bishop James Jones were published. After analyzing over 400,000 pages of material, the commission disproved many of the claims made by the investigation following the tragedy.
The commission has established that the stadium's infrastructure, including its turnstiles, fences and many of its seats, did not meet safety requirements. In addition, it was found that 116 witness statements were significantly amended, with negative comments about the police and medical operation edited out.
The new independent investigation called into question the results of the alcohol tests, which were even taken from children. Doctors have also been criticized for ceasing the aid rendered to victims of the stampede too early and failing to save several people who were still alive.
"With the weight of the new evidence in the report, it's right for me today as prime minister to make a proper apology to the families of the 96 ... On behalf of the government, and indeed of our country, I am profoundly sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so long."
"The Liverpool fans were not the cause of the tragedy... This appalling death toll of so many loved ones was compounded by an attempt to blame the victims," Cameron said.