Analysis of the Love Parade Tragedy The Facts Behind the Duisburg Disaster


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Part 3: Did Communications Break Down?

Firemen and police officers on duty in Duisburg on Saturday said they had had problems with their analog radios. Communication between officers had been difficult at best, and at times impossible. Was there a communications breakdown? Did the officers at the entrances to the tunnel not know that people were being crushed on the ramp? So far no one wants to comment on these questions.

The radios "are in some cases so old that you can't even get spare parts for them," said Andreas Nowak, a member of the police federation for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Duisburg is located. Officers repeatedly get in dead spots where they are out of range and can't be reached in emergencies. "Often officers take their private mobile because it's the only way to stay in touch," said Nowak. But the mobile phone network collapsed on Saturday, so that wouldn't have helped either.


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