Soccer Stadium Worker Says He Defied Police Order to Open Gate
A gatekeeper said today that he refused police orders to open an outer gate and allow thousands of late arrivals to pour into a soccer stadium where 94 fans were crushed to death. Fans and officials said police opened the barrier.
South Yorkshire police, who were in charge of Saturday’s club semifinal at Hillsborough stadium, came under mounting attack as Liverpool ordered a week of mourning for victims who went to watch the city’s team play Nottingham Forest.
Fans and officials said officers responded inadequately and far too slowly when spectators were crushed against a steel anti-riot fence in a standing-room-only area.
Gatekeeper Jack Stone told the Yorkshire Post that he refused police orders to open a 16-foot-wide outer gate. Survivors said about 4,000 fans outside were pushing at turnstiles.
Stone would not confirm survivors’ reports that police officers opened the concertina gate. But he told the newspaper: “You know as well as anyone whose fault it was.”