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

Who is to blame for the Duisburg Love Parade disaster? Four days after the festival, no one has accepted responsibility. SPIEGEL ONLINE has listed the main questions and tried to provide answers. Amid all the contradictions, excuses and lies, it's already clear that no one in authority was entirely blameless.


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The death toll from Saturday's Love Parade disaster in Duisburg rose to 21 on Wednesday as a 25-year-old woman died of injuries she sustained in the crush, Duisburg state prosecutor Rolf Haverkamp said.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Duisburg, Adolf Sauerland, who has been the focus of a storm of criticism over the inadequate organization of the event, announced that he will not attend a memorial service for the victims this coming Saturday. A spokesman for the Duisburg city administration said the mayor didn't want to "hurt the feelings of relatives or provoke them with his presence." Security concerns are also believed to play a part in his decision. Media reports said there have been death threats against the mayor.

Four days after the disaster, Germany wants to know who is responsible. But politicians, the police force, the local administration and the organizers of the event aren't providing answers. Instead, they are blaming each other.

SPIEGEL ONLINE has reconstructed the grotesque aftermath of the event in which 21 people were killed and over 500 injured, crushed and trampled because the single entrance to the Love Parade, through a tunnel, turned into a lethal bottleneck and authorities had drastically underestimated the number of visitors.

The facts appear to refute what officials have been saying about almost all of the central questions relating to the Duisburg disaster:


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