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Germany: 10 charged with manslaughter, other offences over deadly stampede at 2010 Love Parade

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BERLIN - German prosecutors said Wednesday that they have indicted 10 people on charges including involuntary manslaughter over a mass panic at the Love Parade techno music festival nearly four years ago that resulted in 21 deaths.

Four employees of the event's organizers and six city workers have been indicted, accused of serious planning failures and failing to monitor security procedures properly at the event in Duisburg, said Horst Bien, the head of the prosecutors' office in the western city.

They face charges of involuntary manslaughter and bodily harm, which can be punished with anything from a fine to five years in prison. The suspects, whose names weren't released, deny the charges, prosecutors said.

Proceedings against six others were dropped because there wasn't enough evidence for charges, Bien said.

The victims were aged 18 to 38 and included foreigners from Spain, Australia, Italy, Bosnia, China and the Netherlands. More than 500 other people were injured.

The crush occurred in a packed tunnel that was the sole access point to the festival grounds.

Bien said the access was clearly too narrow to cope with roughly 450,000 people who were expected to converge on the festival in the afternoon and early evening of July 24, 2010. He argued that the event employees should have recognized that and the city employees shouldn't have given the event a permit to go ahead.

The investigation "has lasted a very long time — even we see that," Bien said, acknowledging that that had been a burden for all involved, particularly victims' relatives. But he said that "in view of the event's size and the complexity of the events, investigations on a near-unprecedented scale were required."

The Duisburg state court now has to decide whether to send the case to trial. It wasn't immediately clear when that might happen.

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