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Table 5 Course of events as presented in the police report 6

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

14:27-15:05, 15:55-17:00 Queues of arriving visitors form at the upper end of the main ramp, which leads to the festival area. For this case it was planned (1) to use ‘pushers’ in order to make the people move forward, (2) to close the access points in the East and West in front of the tunnels, (3) to make loudspeaker announcements [pp.20+13].
15:16 The crowd manager asks for police support via the liaison officer [p.31].
Around 15:30 The relevant police officer arrives at the container of the crowd manager [p.31].
15:30-15:40 Crowd manager and this police officer jointly decide (1) to ask crowd management/security staff to work as ‘pushers’ in order to ensure a better inflow into the festival area from the upper end of the ramp, (2) to close the access points for approximately 10 minutes, (3) to form a cordon in the middle of the ramp in order to shield visitors trying to enter the festival area from behind [pp.20+31].
15:45 In the discussion with other police officers, this plan is modified towards forming 2 police cordons in the tunnels to the West and to the East [p.22].
15:50-16:20 Police cordon 1 is formed in the tunnel in the West (first before the side ramp and then after it from 16:02 on in order to allow people to use the side ramp) [p.21].
15:57-16:16 Police cordon 2 is formed in the tunnel in the East [p.21].
16:01-16:24 A third police cordon is formed in the middle of the ramp in order to avoid that visitor flows returning from the Love Parade would undermine police cordons 1 and 2 from behind [p.21+22].
Around 16:10 When arriving at the relevant area of the ramp, the responsible officer discovers that (1) many people are trying to leave the festival area and (2) the expected dissolution of the jam at the upper end of the ramp did not happen within the 10 minute time period foreseen for this. Therefore, the blockage of the inflows by cordons 1 and 2 must be maintained longer than planned. Due to this delay and since the access points must be intermittently opened, the pressure on police cordons 1 and 2 becomes so high that they must be given up [p.23].
16:24 Visitors are jammed up on both sides of police cordon 3. The situation becomes extremely crowded [p.24]. Therefore, police cordon 3 is dissolved, also because it is ‘ineffective’ between two oppositely directed flows [pp.24+34].
16:31 A new (transparent) police cordon is formed at the upper end of the ramp from 16:31 on [pp.21+24]. It serves to stop the outflow of leaving visitors via the main ramp and to encourage arriving visitors to use the slopes to enter the festival area (see Figure 1).5,156 [pp.24+34]
16:39 The fire brigade reports ‘panic-like’ movements on the ramp with some over-run people [p.25].
16:40-16:55 The festival area is closed for newly arriving visitors (by moving vehicles in front of the access points) [pp.25+35].
After evacuation of ramp area Some densely crowded spots remain around the container, two poles and the narrow staircase. It is not possible to redirect them by words or gestures [pp.34+35]