At least 66 people were killed on Saturday (January 2) in the worst football crowd disaster ever seen in Britain.
At least 66 people were killed on Saturday (January 2) in the worst football crowd disaster ever seen in Britain. It happened as more than 80,000 people were streaming out of Glasgow's Ibrox Park Stadium at the end of the annual New Year's match between Scotland's two greatest clubs: Celtic and Rangers. Survivors described the disaster as 'just like the war'.
Thousands of Rangers supporters streamed towards the exists when their local rivals Celtic scored with less than a minute to go in the match. Then a roar went up as Rangers scored an equalising goal 30 seconds later and those neat the exits scrambled back to see what had happened. They ran into people coming down and soon the crowd became a nightmare of trampled bodies.
The dead were laid out in rows on the pitch while the rescue operations went on, and later the stadium's gymnasium was taken over as a temporary morgue. Players and supporters helped the police, firemen and medical workers with the task of rescuing the injured.
People died as they were crushed against special crash barriers and when these gave way many more were suffocated in the mass of fallen bodies. The Queen has sent messages of sympathy and the British Prime Minister has ordered a full inquiry into the incident.
The rivalry between the two teams-- and supporters -- is intense and based largely on religious beliefs: Rangers being Protestant and Celtic, Roman Catholic. So high is the feeling between the two sets of supporters that they are allocated different sections of the ground. The disaster took place at the Ranger's supporters end. One hundred and eight people are injured, three of them critically. Two survivors of the disaster described the scenes:
Sir James Robertson, the Glasgow Police Chief, and the Lord Provost, Sir Donald Liddle, were interviewed on television about the incidents: