German prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation after 19 people were crushed to death in a stampede at the Love Parade, one of Europe’s biggest music festivals. Sixteen people died at the scene, three more died in hospital, and almost 350 people suffered other injuries. The festival, which was held in the western German city of Duisburg on Saturday, has been permanently cancelled, and investigators are trying to find out how this happened. Among the dead were Bosnian, Dutch, Australian, Chinese, Spanish
and Italian nationals, and nearly all of the victims—who were between ages 20 and 40 years—have been identified. Emergency services said many died from asphyxiation or crushed spinal cords. City officials decided not to evacuate the festival, fearing it might cause panic, and rescue workers carried away the injured as the techno music continued to play.
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