A stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans left 17 people dead and 80 injured at the famed Love Parade festival in western Germany on Saturday (July 24).
Other revelers initially kept partying at the event in Duisburg, near Duesseldorf, unaware of the deadly panic that started when police tried to prevent thousands more from entering the already-jammed parade grounds.
Authorities were still trying to determine exactly what happened at the event, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, but the situation was "very chaotic," police commissioner Juergen Kieskemper said.
Emergency workers had trouble getting to the victims in the wide, 500- to 600-meter-long (500- to 600-yard) tunnel that led to the grounds. The area was a hectic scene, with bodies lying on the ground as rescue workers rushed to aid them. Many of the injured were loaded into Red Cross vans and driven away.
Kieskemper said that just before the stampede occurred at about 5 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11 a.m. EDT), police closed off the area where the parade was being held because it was already overcrowded. They told revelers over loudspeakers to turn around and walk back in the other direction before the panic broke out, he said.
Eyewitness Udo Sandhoefer told n-tv television that even though no one else was being let in people still streamed into the tunnel, causing "a real mass panic."
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