Skip to main content

Table 3 Further relevant events

From: Crowd disasters as systemic failures: analysis of the Love Parade disaster


The police receive an e-mail informing them about the official approval of the Love Parade.19

Until 12:00

The construction work (leveling work) of a bulldozer on the festival ground takes longer than planned and delays the opening of the festival for approximately one hour.21


20,000 techno fans are waiting in the West and are creating a lot of pressure to get in.21,76


The police are worried that the access point may be overrun.21

Around 14:00

A police officer asks the crowd management to make a loudspeaker announcement, but this cannot be done, because there is no working loudspeaker equipment despite requirements to have one.21

After 14:03

Visitors are obstructed by floats (music trucks), while trying to enter the festival area from the ramp.21,77


The obstruction by the floats on the festival area causes a jam of arriving visitors on the ramp almost up to the tunnel.21


For some time, it is not possible to enter the festival area from the ramp.19


The minister of interior visits the crisis management team.19


Mobile phones do not work due to an overload of the mobile phone networks.21

From 15:31

Visitors start to climb the slope in the West of the main ramp and one minute later in the East to get to the festival area.78

Around 16:00

Turmoil and critical crowd conditions occur in front of the access points. A policeman instructs the crowd management to open the access point in the West.21 The access point in the East is intermittently opened to reduce the pressure in the crowd.21


A fence at the West side of the tunnel is opened to allow an emergency vehicle to enter. Hundreds of visitors make use of the occurring gap to enter the tunnel.6

Around 16:30

Visitors overcome fences in the tunnel.79


People scream for help and shout at others they should hurry up; some seem to panic, but others try to calm them down; the situation changes quickly: people change between screaming and laughing; some people manage to climb the staircase, but there is still no continuous flow of people on the staircase.80 People scream they are about to die.81 The traffic sign is already bent.82 People shout from above that those on the narrow staircase should move on.83

Around 16:36

Crowd turbulence and critical situation around the pole.84

Starting 16:38

Police are limiting the number of people on the staircase (usually 2 or 3 at a time), but make sure that people do not stop on the staircase.85

Around 16:40

An unconscious women is passed on to the narrow staircase and elevated up.86 A sparse, slowly moving crowd in the tunnel moves towards the festival area.87

Starting approx. 16:40

Police cars in the city make loudspeaker announcements that the festival area is completely full and will not be accessible to further visitors anymore until the end of the day.88

Around 16:44

Some people climb a pole and the narrow staircase next to the ramp (see Figure 1). Several people try to elevate themselves from the crowd by climbing a billboard. Many seem to be in trouble between the staircase and the tunnel.89


Interview with the Love Parade organizer, who does not seem to be aware how critical the situation is.60

Around 16:48

A command is given to stop inflows to the tunnel and the ramp area completely. It is executed within minutes.21 Sound of police sirens; some people have fallen to the ground and raise their hands into the air for help.90

Around 16:50

An emergency vehicle is entering the ramp area through the tunnel and opens its sliding door. An interaction between the crowd and people in the emergency vehicle takes place. The trouble between the staircase and tunnel is becoming more and more serious.91 A video from the West looking down on the crowd shows shockwaves in the crowd. Police forces are having a hard time holding a fence back at the container, which is used by the crowd management.92