Hillsborough disaster. 96 Liverpool fans killed in a human crush caused by police, and covered up for years afterwards. I’ve read plenty about it and knew the overall details, but the BBC’s Panorama just did a piece on it with unreleased footage (covered up by police) of the actual event. It brings it far more starkly into focus.
The whole ordeal is far more scary than I’d understood. The video gives a different life to the words from all the reports. The stands had ‘pens’, literal cages, into which fans were directed. But the police just directed thousands of fans into just the one big one, not thinking to stop them and redirect them into the half-empty side pens. Since the tickets were standing room only, nobody outside knew there wasn’t room, so they just kept going thinking they’d find a spot that didn’t exist. People at the front of the cage got crushed. And the officer in charge of coordinating police, in spite of being in a booth looking directly down on the affected stands, just gave the order to open another door so more people could get in to the one cage.
Eventually a handful of the more intelligent officers at the front of the cages unlocked the small doors to let a few out into the side cages, but at this point it was too late. Those being crushed, and some of those dead, were swept out onto the field.
It’s quite scary to watch. The coverup that followed is almost scarier.