13 Sep 2012

Cameron apologises for 1989 disaster

9:24 am on 13 September 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his profound sorrow on Wednesday for failures and cover-ups in the wake of the Hillsborough soccer disaster in 1989 in which 96 spectators died after a crowd crush in the stadium.

An independent panel, set up in 2010 by the previous Labour government, concluded that the tragedy could have been avoided, more lives could have been saved, and the police response was flawed.

The panel was chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool.

Mr Cameron said he is profoundly sorry for the "double injustice" of the disaster, in which police failed to do enough and also tried to blame Liverpool fans.

He said "deficiencies" at the ground were well known and it failed to meet minimum safety standards.

Liverpool fans and relatives of the victims have been campaigning for 23 years to find out exactly what happened on the day of the disaster.

The original inquest concluded all the victims were dead or brain dead 15 minutes after an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium began at 3pm on 15 April 1989.

An independent inquiry led by Lord Chief Justice Taylor found the main cause of the disaster was a failure in crowd control by South Yorkshire Police.