The Consequences of Opening Gate 'C'

gate C

Once gate C had been opened police directed fans through the gate. The most obvious entrance to the terraces was through the tunnel opposite into pens 3 and 4. Evidence would later be given that in previous years police and/or stewards would stand at the entrance to the tunnel if these central pens had reached capacity and would direct fans to the side pens.

In 1989 however, no such direction took place as fans headed innocently into already overcrowded pens. It is quite incomprehensible that Duckenfield, failed to follow up the order to open gate C with instructions to allow for the swift increase in the volume of people entering that end of the ground. Indeed the reasoning capacity of Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield has to be seriously challenged when one considers his response to the situation in pens 3 and 4. Logic would inform the average person that the volume outside would be replicated inside once entrance was allowed and that therefore swift monitoring and control would be necessary if a catastrophe was to be averted. Logic however, does not seem to figure large in the consciousness of David Duckenfield. His response to seeing people spill out onto the perimeter track from the crushing in the pens was to call for reinforcements (including dog handlers) as he thought there was a pitch invasion!

David Duckenfield

This response of Duckenfield is even more obscene when it is realised that from his position in the control box he could clearly see the Leppings Lane end. Moreover, he had the advantage of CCTV with zoom facilities. His later testimony that he was unaware that people were suffering and dying becomes totally unbelievable to those of us who have visited that control box and know that it is possible see the colour of a persons eyes in pens 3 and 4 such was the power of the zoom facilities on the cameras. On the basis of his response given the carnage that could clearly be seen several theories have been postulated:

  1. Duckenfield lacks the ability to reason at a very basic humanitarian level and therefore one has to ask does this reflect on the general standard of senior policing in Britain today.
  2. Duckenfield was totally indifferent to the situation he was witnessing in the pens and ignored the plight of dying people.
  3. Duckenfield was not in the control box at all, in which case where was he?

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