This clip illustrates the serious overcrowding at the Leppings Lane turnstiles which led to the decision to open Gate C and other exit gates (sound is intermittent due to the nature of the source material).

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CLIP 2 - OPENING OF GATE C

1. In his Interim report, Lord Justice Taylor found that the immediate cause of the Hillsborough disaster was 'the failure, when gate C was opened, to cut off access to the central pens which were already overfull.'

This clip illustrates the serious overcrowding at the Leppings Lane turnstiles which led to the decision to open the exit gates.

2. These scenes are filmed from a Police CCTV camera mounted on the West Stand and pointing towards Leppings Lane.
Fans with tickets for Leppings Lane Terrace entered through Turnstiles A to G seen in the bottom right of the screen.
The time is 2.33pm.

3. This is the build-up of the crowd outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles filmed by the BBC at approximately 2.37pm.
From this confined area over 24,000 fans passed through 23 turnstiles. 10,100 fans had to go through the 7 turnstiles allocated to the Leppings Lane Terrace. This was 1,443 for each turnstile, by far the highest number for any part of the stadium.
At the opposite end, the Spion Kop terrace was twice the size of the Leppings Lane terrace but had six times as many turnstiles.

4. This is the scene in Leppings Lane, beyond the stadium's perimeter gate. The pictures are from a BBC camera.
In his report, Lord Justice Taylor explained that as more spectators arrived at the back of the crowd, the crush at the front intensified. Fans were arriving at a quicker rate than the old turnstiles could cope with. The small outer concourse area between the walls and the fence became packed. This pressure was not unusual at matches with capacity crowds. The crush outside intensified and at approximately 2.40pm, 20 minutes before kick-off, a young boy was removed from the crush. Other fans stood back.

5. At 2.40pm inside the stadium the Leppings Lane central pens, known as 3 and 4, were already very crowded, while the side pens were less than half full.

6. At the turnstiles the situation was serious, described by Lord Justice Taylor as an 'unmanageable crush'.

He stated that fans climbing up and over the turnstile building or on to the dividing fence were escaping the crush rather than gaining free entry as most had tickets.

7. These Police CCTV images begin at 2.44pm. They were recorded in 'time-lapse' mode, hence the poorer quality of the video.

At this time, now 15 minutes before kick-off, Lord Justice Taylor estimated there were 5,000 fans outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles. He stated 'It was clear that the crowd could not pass through the turnstiles by 3pm.' In fact, it was later estimated that it would have taken approximately 40 minutes after kick-off to clear the crowd.

8. At 2.47, Superintendent Marshall, the senior officer responsible for policing the crowd in Leppings Lane, 'realised that the crowd had become unmanageable'. He 'feared fatalities would occur' and 'radioed control to permit the gates to be opened'.

While this request was being considered, Gate C - in the bottom left corner of the picture - was opened to eject a young supporter. Approximately 150 fans entered through the opened gate before it was closed by police.

9. This is the same scene, the first opening of Gate C, from a Sheffield Wednesday CCTV camera.

10. This BBC coverage shows Pens 3 and 4 from 2.49pm until 2.52pm.
Both central pens were packed full. Lord Justice Taylor stated that the tunnel beneath the West Stand, which provided the only access to the central pens should have been closed at this point. It was, he remarked, a 'simple' exercise that 'had been carried out in 1988', at the previous year's semi-final.
In the outer concourse, Superintendent Marshall was dealing with the worsening crush. Over the radio he repeated his request for an exit gate to be opened to relieve the pressure. He added that if the gates were not opened someone would be killed.

11. According to Lord Justice Taylor, in the Police Control Room, the overall commander, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield was hesitant. Superintendent Murray asked him "Are you going to open the gates?". Chief Superintendent Duckenfield then gave the order. Sergeant Goddard radioed to "Open the gates"'.

The open Gate C is in the centre-left of the picture.

Lord Justice Taylor found that neither the Club Control room nor any police officers inside the turnstiles were informed that the gates were to be opened. They were also not given any instructions about how to respond and manage the incoming crowd.

Most significantly they were not instructed to close access to the tunnel leading down into Pens 3 and 4 of the Leppings Lane Terrace.

12. A Sheffield Wednesday CCTV camera shows the same scene as gate C opens and the fans walk in, most heading straight for the tunnel.

13. Gate C remained open until approximately 2.57pm. It was estimated that 2000 Liverpool fans entered through the gate in the 5 minutes it was open.

Lord Justice Taylor stated 'some found their way either right to pens 1 and 2 or left through the dividing wall to pens 6 and 7. But a large proportion headed straight for the tunnel in front of them.'

He concluded: 'It should have been clear in the control room where there was a view of the pens and of the crowd at the turnstiles that the tunnel had to be closed. If orders had been given to that effect when gate C was opened, the fans could have been directed to the empty areas of the wings and this disaster could still have been avoided. Failure to give that order was a blunder of the first magnitude.'


END