Memorial service held for Love Parade victims

Germany held a memorial service today for the victims of the Love Parade techno music festival, where 21 people were crushed to death and 500 injured in a tunnel that was the only entrance to the event.



The memorial at Salvator Church, which opened with somber organ music, was shown on screens in a football stadium and a dozen other churches in the western city of Duisburg. Several TV stations carried the service live, and flags across the country flew at half-mast.



Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff were at the event. Family members of the victims also attended.



The 21 people who died were aged 18 to 38 and included foreigners from Spain, Australia, Italy, Bosnia, China and Holland.



The ceremony was led by Roman Catholic and Lutheran Protestant clerics — representing Germany's two main denominations.



"The Love Parade was danced to death," Nikolaus Schneider, the head of the Rhineland Lutheran church assembly, said in his sermon. "In the middle of a celebration of lust for life, death showed its ugly face to all of us."



Franz-Josef Overbeck, the Catholic bishop of the neighboring city of Essen, said: "Life can be so oppositional: One moment there is a party, the next moment we are lying helplessly on the ground."



"We want to stir our life in secure ways, but don't have it under control."



After the sermons, rescue helpers lit 21 candles for the victims of the tragedy.



Anger had been building in recent days, with over 250 people protesting in Duisburg on Thursday and demanding the resignation of the city's mayor, Adolf Sauerland.



People blame Sauerland and the city's authorities for failing to adequately plan for the event. Private organizers also have come under fire for allegedly trying to squeeze as many as 1.4 million revelers into too small a space and for allowing only one access point onto the festival grounds.



A preliminary report by police investigators Wednesday accused the organizer of the Love Parade of major security breaches which may have led to the crush. But it left many unanswered questions regarding the responsibility of the Duisburg municipality, which was to oversee the event.



The crush occurred in the jam-packed tunnel that was the sole entrance point to the festival grounds.



Since the tragedy, hundreds of people have lit candles, left notes and placed flowers on the site of the deaths and injuries.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Merger and Acquisition Project Manager

£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN TAWe are looking to recrui...

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis