Football: Hillsborough inquests location set

30th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

The fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters crushed in the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster will be held in Warrington, the coroner announced on Monday.

Lord Justice John Goldring said the hearings would be held in the northwest English town, which is around 20 miles (30 kilometres) east of Liverpool, roughly half-way to Manchester.

The precise venue in Warrington would be provided "in due course", he said.

Goldring had already decided to hold the inquests in the northwest -- though not in Liverpool -- rather than in London -- as some victims' families wanted -- to make it more practicable for relatives to attend.

The hearings will begin by March 31 next year and will be held before a jury.

The families of the victims hope the inquests will shed more light on whether more lives could have been saved.

The disaster in the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, northern England, in April 1989, remains the worst sporting disaster in British history.

The fatal crush was caused by huge overcrowding on a standing terrace before Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

In December last year, the High Court in London quashed the original Hillsborough verdicts and called for fresh inquests to be held, while police also launched a new investigation.

That move followed the publication of a damning independent report in September that concluded that 41 of those who died would have had the "potential to survive" if they had received medical treatment more quickly.

In English law, inquests are held to examine sudden or unexplained deaths. They set out to determine the place and time of death as well as how the deceased came by their death, but do not apportion blame.

A separate investigation into the police handing of the disaster has had more than 500 responses for a fresh appeal for witnesses.

The probe has already unearthed evidence that the local police force, South Yorkshire Police, altered statements submitted by officers on the day of the disaster.

© 2013 AFP

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