UK gov’t to release Hillsborough disaster papers

Previously unseen documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster will be released by the British government.

Hillsborough Remembered

Home Secretary Alan Johnson agreed Wednesday to waive a 30-year secrecy rule to allow documents related to the tragedy to be made public.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans died at an FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest staged at the ground.

A newly created Hillsborough Independent Panel could start going through the papers in September.

Documents will be made available to the families before they are made public because they may contain sensitive and personal information related to the victims’ final minutes.

Although an inquest jury ruled in 1991 that the deaths at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium were accidental, South Yorkshire Police were strongly criticized for their handling of the tragedy.

Officers herded up to 2,000 Liverpool fans into caged-in enclosures that were already full, resulting in many being crushed and suffocating.

The relatives of those who died have pressed for criminal charges against the police and suggested that there was a cover-up of evidence.