LONDON (AP) – The Latest on Britain’s 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster that left 96 people dead (all times local):
British prosecutors have charged six people over the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster in Sheffield, in which 96 soccer fans were crushed to death.
Those charged include the police commander on the day, David Duckenfield, who is accused of gross negligence manslaughter. The former chief of South Yorkshire Police, Norman Bettision, is charged with misconduct in public office for lying about the disaster and its aftermath.
The tragedy unfolded when more than 2,000 Liverpool soccer fans flooded into a standing-room section behind a goal, with the 54,000-capacity stadium already nearly full for the match against Nottingham Forest. There were immediate attempts to defend the police operation and assign blame to the Liverpool fans.
A false narrative circulated that blamed ticketless and rowdy Liverpool fans – a narrative that their families have challenged for decades.
British prosecutors are set to announce whether they plan to press charges in the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough stadium crush – one of Britain’s worst-ever sports disasters. The families of those killed in the April 1989 catastrophe were gathering in the northwestern English city of Warrington on Wednesday to be told about the decision. The tragedy at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield unfolded when more than 2,000 Liverpool soccer fans flooded into a standing-room section behind a goal for the match against Nottingham Forest. The victims were smashed against metal anti-riot fences or trampled underfoot. At the time there were immediate attempts to defend the police operation and assign blame to the Liverpool fans. The original inquest recorded verdicts of accidental death. But the families challenged the ruling and got it overturned in 2012 after a far-reaching inquiry that examined previously secret documents and exposed wrongdoing and mistakes by police. There are 23 suspects, including individuals and organizations, that could face charges.