Jury hears details of Hillsborough crush

Jury members at the Hillsborough inquests have been given an extensive virtual tour of how the ground looked in 1989 using the latest technology.
Jury members at the Hillsborough inquests have been given an extensive virtual tour of how the ground looked in 1989 using the latest technology.
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Distressing scenes of the crush at Hillsborough have been shown to the jury sitting at the new inquests.

Jurors were taken through the events of the day step by step by detective superintendent Neil Malkin, who is leading the criminal probe into the tragedy.

The videos were made up of police footage, CCTV, BBC images and still photographs.

Before the footage was shown at the courtroom in Warrington, the families of the 96 who died were told they could leave court if they wanted to.

The jury was told investigators had managed to identify a large number of those who died from the images.

This morning Det Supt Malkin took the jury through the chronology of the April 1989 disaster.

He said as the 3pm kick-off approached the crowd outside Leppings Lane grew in density.

Police radioed the police control box to ask for the game to be delayed but were told it was too late to delay kick-off.

At 2.48pm exit gate C was opened to eject a youth from the ground.

Around 150 fans managed to get in before the gate was closed.

He said at 2.52pm, gate C was opened following authorisation from match commander Chf Supt David Duckenfield following a request from Supt Marshall.

Significant numbers of fans headed for the tunnel leading to the Leppings Lane terraces and were not prevented from doing so.

Det Supt Malkin said at 2.57pm supporters emerged onto the perimeter track.

At 2.58pm Gate C was closed and four fans can be seen trying to get over the fence of pen four.

He said at 3pm, a gate at the front of pen three was forced open due to pressure from the Leppings Lane terraces.

Police opened other gates, the timings of which are subject to controversy, he added.

The court was told that from 3.03pm to 3.05pm fans could be seen streaming onto the pitch through the open perimeter gates.

At 3.04pm Liverpool’s Peter Beardsley hit the bar at the Spion Kop end causing Liverpool fans in pen three to surge forward.

At the same time police were sent to the Leppings Lane end amid fears of a pitch invasion.

Det Supt Malkin said Supt Greenwood radioed for the match to be stopped at 3.05pm and then went onto the pitch and asked the referee to stop the game.

At 3.06pm South Yorkshire Police headquarters was told there may be casualties and ambulances may be required.

A fleet of ambulances was requested, but ambulance chiefs said they could not send a ‘fleet’ and their officers on the ground would assess the situation.

At 3.13pm ambulance control was told there could be possible fatalities.

They responded that as many ambulances as possible would be sent, said Det Supt Malkin.

In total 42 ambulances attended the ground including eleven from neighbouring services.
A major incident was declared at 3.21pm.

At 3.30pm a call was made over the public address system for doctors and nurses at the game to assist.

Det Supt Malkin said casualty bureaux were set up at the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire hospitals.

Some of the dead and injured were place outside the ground by the river.

At 3.56pm then Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish appealed for calm over the PA system and at 4.10pm the match was abandoned.

In total 162 people were taken to three different hospitals.

The jury will visit Hillsborough and other sites of interest in Sheffield on Friday.