Secret papers released on 1989 UK stadium tragedy
LONDON (AP) - The relatives of 96 soccer fans crushed to death in Britain's worst sports disaster were finally granted access on Wednesday to secret documents they have long believed will prove how mistakes by British police and others compounded the 1989 tragedy.
After battling for more than 20 years, the families were reviewing 400,000 pages of previously undisclosed papers detailing the actions of British police, paramedics and officials who initially investigated the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans.
Advocates have long insisted that mistakes by police directly contributed to the stadium deaths and that other errors by emergency workers meant some of the injured were denied medical treatment.
"This is what the families and the fans have been fighting for 23 years. Without the truth, you cannot grieve and where there is deceit, you get no justice," said Ms Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James was killed. The 96 fans died when they were crushed and suffocated in a standing-room-only section of the Hillsborough football stadium during a major soccer match, an FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.