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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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Hillsborough officer questioned over apology

David Duckenfield Credit: PA Wire

The Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield began the fifth day of his evidence before the inquests today being questioned about the apology he offered to the victims' families on Friday.

Peter Weatherby, lawyer for 22 of the families, asked him: "What is it that you are so sorry for? Is it an acceptance of responsibility for the events of 15th April and the deaths of 96 people?"

Duckenfield replied: "Many people were party to the events of that day, and I'm apologising for my part."

The lawyer asked again: "Are you apologising for your responsibility? Or is this a politician's apology, that sounds much better than reality."

"I'm not a politician", said the former Chief Superintendent.

Mr Weatherby then put it to him: "The disaster resulted from your serious failures that day as admitted by you before this jury."

Duckenfield replied: "Yes sir".

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