‘Turnstiles shortage’ at Hillsborough

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AN INDEPENDENT stadium expert told the Hillsborough inquest there were not enough turnstiles for Liverpool fans and the height and layout of crush barriers on the Leppings Lane terrace did not comply with safety guidelines.

John Cutlack, a structural engineer, also said the capacity of the terraces had been over-estimated.

The disaster on April 15, 1989, claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans, crushed to death at the start of an FA Cup Semi-Final against Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.

Mr Cutlack said the barrier height and layout did not comply with the safety guidance for sports stadia given in the government’s Green Guide.

In pens three and four, where the fans were crushed, four barriers were too low and three too high. Because of this the designated safe capacity should have been lowered, Mr Cutlack said.

The inquest heard pen three had been estimated to be able to hold 1,000 fans, and pen four 1,200 each, but Mr Cutlack said pen three should have had a capacity of 680 and pen four 780. The inquest continues.