Hillsborough Verdicts Delivered After 27 Years
The Hillsborough disaster occurred 27 years ago. Today, a verdict was delivered ruling the deaths of 96 people at Sheffield Wednesday Stadium were unlawful.
On April 15th, 1989, during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham, the pens where Liverpool fans were allocated became over-filled. Fans were pushed up against the fencing between the pitch and the stands, leading to 96 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
To this day it remains as one of the worst sporting tragedies in history.
On Tuesday, the inquest found that Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed and were in no way to blame for the tragedy. There were “major omissions” in police planning and preparation for the semi-final and that police response to the increasing crowds at Leppings Lane was “slow and uncoordinated”. Errors by commanding officers contributed to the crush on the terrace as they failed to see that the pens were at full capacity.
The design and layout of the crush barriers in pen three and four were not fully compliant with safety regulations and actually helped cause asphyxiation. Delays in response and a lack of communication on behalf of police and emergency crews also were at cause.
The Bishop of Liverpool released a statement following the verdict:
"We have waited a long time for these determinations, and today was bound to be a difficult day. It brings raw emotions and painful memories to the surface once again, for the families and for our city region. But there is also real comfort today, because the accusations at the time that Liverpool’s fans contributed to this tragedy have finally been proven to be false. The steady journey continues. The families have always said that they seek truth and justice, and the inquests have worked longer than any in British legal history to uncover the truth. Now justice must follow. I pay tribute to those whose courage and tenacity has never wavered over the years. In particular I honour my predecessor Bishop James Jones and the work he did with the Independent Panel which did so much to get us to this point. Now we move forward once again on this long journey to justice. Together with my colleagues from all the churches, I commit myself to support those who hurt, help those who grieve and show God’s love and compassion for all. As we take in this week’s news and consider our reactions, let us not lose sight of what is most important. At the heart of this story are the 96 people who lost their lives and countless more who have had their lives and their hearts broken. We honour the families and those who have supported them over the years. We honour those who have stood for truth and justice. Ours is a story of loss, grief and pain. This story continues because that pain continues, but we will walk forward with hope in our hearts."
Many loved one's of those lost, finally have justice.
Liverpool fans have seeked justice for this horrific for the past 27 years. Finally they have something.
Each death noted in the inquiry was caused by some sort of compression induced asphyxia.
On April 2nd, 2014, ESPN released a 30 For 30 titled 'Hillsborough' which explained the events of that fateful day and the efforts to seek justice for the victims.
Now, they finally have it.