The new inquests into Britain's worst sporting disaster were
ordered in December 2012 when the High Court quashed accidental
death verdicts from 21 years ago after an independent inquiry found
new evidence and absolved the fans of any responsibility.
Ninety-six Liverpool supporters died and another 766 people were
injured after a crush in an enclosed, overcrowded terrace at the
stadium in the northern city of Sheffield on April 15, 1989, during
an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
The new hearing before a jury is expected to hear evidence on issues
such as stadium safety, emergency planning, crowd management and the
response of the emergency services.
Relatives said they were relieved the day had arrived after fighting
for years for "Justice for the 96", refusing to accept the deaths
were accidental and accusing police of covering up exactly what
"I'm really, really nervous. It's been a long, long fight ... but
this is the beginning now, hopefully it can be put right," Charlotte
Hennessy, who lost her father James in the disaster when she was
six, told Britain's Press Association.
The tragedy which happened within minutes of kick-off shocked the
world and led to a new era of modern stadiums across Britain. Banks
of terracing and metal fences around pitches disappeared, replaced
by seating and better security.
The new inquests, to be held at Warrington in northern England, are
expected to last for months with no verdicts handed down until 2015
due to the amount of paperwork to be examined.
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The Independent Police Complaints Commission is also looking into
allegations arising from the aftermath of the tragedy and will
review allegations surrounding amendments to statements and the
actions of police officers.
Next month, on the 25th anniversary of the disaster, matches in
England will kick off seven minutes late as a mark of respect.
(Reporting by Lavinia De Luca and Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Ed
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