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Hillsborough officer admits his failure to close tunnel caused 96 deaths

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield has accepted his failure to close the tunnel was the direct cause of the death of 96 people in April 1989.

Giving evidence during the new inquest into the disaster, Mr Duckenfield said it had been the most difficult period of his life to admit his professional failing led to the deaths.

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Duckenfield: 'I was Freemason'

Further questioning of Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield revealed that he had been a Freemason at the time of the 1989 tragedy.

Duckenfield joined the Freemasons in 1975, had been part of the organisation for 14 years at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, becoming a Worshipful Master of his local lodge a year later, he told the court.

He said he did not know whether the chief constable of his force or other senior officers were masons because it was not seen as "acceptable" to be a senior policeman and a Freemason.

Rajiv Menon QC asked if his promotion to chief superintendent in March 1989, shortly before the match, was anything to do with his membership of the masons.

Mr Duckenfield replied: "I would not know but I would hope not. Nobody ever spoke to me about it."

ITV Granada reporter Andy Bonner is at the inquest:

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