UK & World News

  • 2 April 2014, 4:19

Hillsborough Tragedy 'Seared Into Memories'

The Hillsborough Inquests jury will be expected to reach "significant and critical" judgements on how each of the 96 disaster victims died, the coroner has said.

Formally opening the inquests, Lord Justice Goldring told jurors who had just been sworn in that in addition to the deaths more than 400 were treated in hospital.

He said: "The disaster is seared into the memories of the very many people affected by it, most notably of course the families of the 96 people."

The day began with inquests' barrister Christina Lambert QC reading aloud to a silent courtroom the names of those who died. It took her six minutes.

Hundreds of relatives listened as the coroner told members of the jury: "We shall consider the experience and deaths of each one of the 96 individuals.

"That is something we must never lose sight of during the course of these inquests.

"As part of your task you will ... have to consider the circumstances of their deaths ... whether opportunities were lost that might have prevented the deaths or saved lives."

The coroner said the inquest would comprise 10 sections including a detailed analysis of the emergency service preparation for the day of the disaster and a jury visit to the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield.

A virtual reconstruction of the changes made to the stadium will be shown on screens around the courtroom.

The inquest hearing has seen pictures of crush barriers at the ground's Leppings Lane End, where the Liverpool fans were killed.

The coroner has described how one crush barrier in the relevant terraces was removed prior to the fateful FA Cup semi-final on April 15, 1989.

Lord Justice Goldring pointed out how planning for the 1989 match was modelled on the previous year's semi-final, at which a number of fans had survived crushing.

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