Hillsborough Stadium  Sheffield, England.jpg
Photograph: EPA/HILLSBOROUGH INQUEST / HANDOUT

A jury ruled on Tuesday that 96 people were "unlawfully killed" in the 1989 crush at Hillsborough football stadium in the northern British city of Sheffield, saying "errors and omissions" by the police had contributed to the disaster.

The jury agreed that the deaths during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were "due to crushing in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace, following the admission of a large number of supporters to the stadium through exit gates."

It endorsed statements saying there were "errors or omissions" in police planning, policing on the day of the match, and the action of commanding officers, which had all "caused or contributed" to the events that led to the deaths.

"The jury feels there were major omissions in 1989 operational order," it said.

The police response to the growing crowd of Liverpool supporters outside the Leppings Lane end was "slow and uncoordinated," it said, adding that road closures and the lack of contingency planning had worsened the situation.

The verdict, which follows a two-year coroner's inquest into Britain's biggest sporting disaster, said the behaviour of fans did not contribute to the deaths.

Earlier verdicts of accidental death were quashed in 2012 after a long campaign by victims' relatives.

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