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Medvedev expresses condolences to Merkel over Germany’s Love Parade stampede deaths

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, gestures as she walks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their an annual meeting in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 15, 2010.

July 26, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over German music festival deaths caused by a stampede, Russian presidential press-service said on Sunday.

At least 19 people were killed and over 340 injured at the event. The panic at the Love Parade in the western German city of Duisburg started on Saturday evening near the only entrance to the area of the music festival when crowds of the arriving fans of techno music surged through an already jammed entry tunnel.

“[I] have found out about the tragedy that happened in Duisburg with sorrow,” Medvedev said in a statement send to the chancellor. “I express my deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims. I wish speedy recovery to the injured.”

The founder of the Love Parade, Matthias Roeingh, known by the name Dr. Motte, has put the blame on the organizers of this year’s festival saying they made a number of mistakes that inevitably led to the tragedy.

“How can you expect to let so many people in through a single entrance? It is scandalous and I am very sad [that it happened],” he said.

The organizers of the festival said about 1.4 million people were supposed to attend the event this year.

Love Parade is an annual techno music festival that was originated in 1989, four months after the demolition of the Berlin wall.

Each year it gathers an increasing number of techno music fans. The Love Parade is considered to be one of the loudest festivals due to the special water-cooled sound equipment producing extremely loud sounds.

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