Traffic returned to the pedestrian entrance tunnel of Duisberg’s Love Parade on Sunday, some six weeks after 21 people were crushed to death at the now notorious dance music event.
City authorities re-opened the road a day after unveiling a bronze plaque nearby engraved with the message ‘Duisburg remembers the victims of the Love Parade – July 24, 2010’, alongside a glass memorial box containing letters and memorabilia associated with the disaster.
The city authorities’ symbolic effort to move on came as Love Parade organisers Lovapent and local police forces continued to blame each other for causing the crowd bottleneck which caused so many people to die.
Speaking to German magazine Der Spiegel two weeks ago Lovapent owner Rainer Schaller directly blamed police for causing the deaths by blocking people in with a chain.
“None of us can understand why the police put up the chain in the tunnel and what function the chain at the lower end of the ramp was suppose to have,” he said, “I believe that without this chain, the 21 people would still be alive today.” (Local-de)
Lovapent also launched a website containing 22 hours of unedited surveillance footage of the site plus a six minute edited video of events which also singled out the chain as the key factor accompanied by a somewhat ambiguous statement aligning themselves with the victims.
“We deeply regret the pain and loss that people have suffered,” they said.
“We, the Loveparade team, are extremely shocked that this terrible tragedy happened at the 2010 event. The entire Loveparade team would like to extend their deeply felt condolences to the victims’ families and friends. We know that we cannot lessen their grief.
Just like the victims’ families, the participants and the general public, we, too, must understand what happened on 24 July 2010. This website is an expression of the fact that we accept this responsibility.”
Fallout from the tragedy hit San Francisco’s version of the Love Parade this week as organizers announced they’re cancelling this year’s outdoor party following ‘an unprecedented summer of tragedies at large events that has made city authorities very cautious.’
“After last year's successful event, we worked for months on a plan for a parade and festival at Civic Center. Many changes were in the works that would have made the event safer and more enjoyable,” LovEvolution said in a statement posted on their site.
“Some city departments were still opposed however and we were in discussion about ways of limiting capacity at Civic Center, as over-crowding was the biggest concern. Then the tragedy occurred at LoveParade in Germany. After that weekend, we decided it would be best to seek another location.”
After selecting the car park at Candlestick Park as an alternative venue, organizers said council bureaucracy left then unable to secure a license until two weeks before the planned October parade, forcing the cancellation.
“This has been a difficult decision for everyone involved,’ they added, “In the end, we decided that it would be best to re-group, reinvent and come back even better than ever next year. That is fully our intention.”
Love Parade Germany organisers’ website, includes webcam footage etc.
Jonty Skrufff (http://bit.ly/dxsq9w )