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Mourning ceremony held after 19 killed in German music festival

07-26-2010 16:22 BJT

DUISBURG, Germany, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A mourning ceremony was held here on Monday to pay homage to stampede victims during Germany's famed Love Parade festival.

The death toll from the mass panic has risen to 19 and at least 342 others were injured in the crush, police said.

"I saw people died in front of me. We've tried our best, but it was in vain," said an emergency worker, who was among the first batch of rescuers arriving at the site after the panic began.

The victims, aged between 20 and 40, were trampled to death as they scrambled to escape from a crush in a narrow, 100-meter tunnel that served as the only entrance to the grounds of the popular event, police said.

At the entrance to the tunnel, dozens of candles were lit and an impromptu remembrance board with signatures and messages lamenting the dead was set up.

There were also messages demanding explanations for the tragedy. Doubts were cast about whether the event should take place in this small city.

First hosted in Berlin in 1989, the Love Parade left the capital in 2007 and has since been held in several other German cities.


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