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German prosecutors probe 19 Love Parade deaths

German prosecutors are investigating whether negligent manslaughter was involved in the deaths of 19 people killed in a crush at the Love Parade techno festival.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2010 21:41 IST

German prosecutors are investigating whether negligent manslaughter was involved in the deaths of 19 people killed in a crush at the Love Parade techno festival.

But amid a clamour of questions about who is to blame, they said today they haven't yet identified any suspects.

The tragedy on Saturday, near a tunnel that was the only entrance to the festival grounds in the western industrial city of Duisburg also injured 342 people.

It remains unclear what triggered the panic, but it appears that people trying to escape the surging crowd climbed up a metal stairway in front of the tunnel and then fell into the crowd and were trampled or crushed.

"The investigations are concentrating on the allegation of negligent manslaughter and negligent bodily harm," said Rolf Haferkamp, a spokesman for Duisburg prosecutors. "They are not directed against any concrete person at present."

A union representing German police has blamed organisers and officials in Duisburg. But witnesses also have pointed the finger at police and private security staff, saying the panic broke out after they closed one end of a tunnel, the only entrance, when the festival grounds became too full.

Police denied that and said they actually opened a second exit to disperse the masses before the accident happened.