Police lied about the Hillsborough football disaster, according to a doctor giving evidence to inquests this week.
Some 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush at the
He described hearing radio reports that
Niall was a fourth year medical student at the time of the match and attended as a
Niall said no stewards or officers directed fans after gate C was opened to relieve a crush at the
On entering fans faced a tunnel leading to pens 3 and 4, where the crush occurred. Niall said, “I think almost everybody I saw went straight down the tunnel.”
Niall tried to help injured fans after he escaped pen 3. He said “basic life support” was the main thing required. But he said many police officers were unaware of basic first aid and that ambulance workers had “very little equipment”.
Niall described the situation following the crush as “totally disorganised. It was total chaos.”
“There didn’t appear to be anyone in charge,” he added. “It struck me at the time and still does that it had been dealt with as a riot rather than a medical emergency.”
Niall said he introduced himself to an officer in a flat cap who he assumed to be in charge and asked what he could do. He said the officer was “extremely vague” and “didn’t direct me anywhere” so he left the ground soon after.
Niall described putting one injured fan into the recovery position who had been lying on their back having swallowed their tongue. “They rapidly regained consciousness,” he said.
He saw some fans with their faces covered presumed dead. But he confirmed that he wasn’t in a position to say whether they were dead or not and that he “didn’t check anybody in that situation”.
Former South Yorkshire County Fire Service station officer Lawrence Fletcher also gave evidence.
He said fire service workers would “work to the police” as the crush was “a police-led incident”.
“They didn’t give me any information at all that could be useful,” he added.
He said he did not feel that the officers in the control box had control of the stadium and that command structures had “broken down”.
David Lockwood was divisional officer at the fire service at the time of the disaster. He told the jury that “any incident other than a fire, the police are in charge”.
David also went to the police control box to ask for direction. “I asked for who was in charge, both of the ambulance service and the police service, and was told they did not know,” he told the jury.
“They virtually ignored me from then on.”
The inquests continue.