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Britain announces new Hillsborough disaster inquiry

Twenty-three years after the tragedy at Hillsborough football ground in England, Britain has announced it will open a new inquiry into the events. A report in September showed police tried to shift blame onto the fans.

A man lies on the pitch during the chaos at Hillsborough in 1989

Hillsborough Liverpool Desaster Unglück

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May announced the new inquiry in London on Wednesday, citing the "truly shocking" evidence outlined in the Hillsborough report that blamed police for not taking steps that could have saved many lives.

"The findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel were truly shocking, but while the families have now been given the truth, they have not yet received justice," May said in a statement. "I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel to deliver justice for the 96 football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf."

On April 15, 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at an FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest. At the time, police blamed drunken fans without tickets who stormed the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield for causing the disaster.

Victims' families had been fighting for 20 years to get to the bottom of what happened, never believing that the police's version of events represented the truth.

The report in September concluded that 41 lives could have been saved had the emergency response been faster.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve also appealed to Britain's High Court to overturn the "accidental death" verdicts that had been given for the victims.

"The principal ground for the application is the new medical evidence," said a statement from Grieve's office. "The alteration to police and emergency services evidence is a supporting factor as is stadium safety."

mz/hc (AP, dpa, Reuters)