Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Hillsborough Leppings Lane Gate C witnesses found

The 19 witnesses identified by Operation Resolve were all men, around Gate C of Hillsborough Stadium at 14:52 on 15 April 1989 Image copyright Operation Resolve
Image caption The 19 witnesses identified by Operation Resolve were near Gate C at the Hillsborough Stadium at about 14:50

Detectives leading a criminal investigation into the Hillsborough disaster have found eight of the 19 witnesses they were seeking.

Ninety-six fans were killed as a result of the crush at the football ground in Sheffield in April 1989.

Police released images of men they wanted to speak to last month as part of Operation Resolve.

Senior investigating officer Neil Malkin stressed the men pictured "had done nothing wrong".

He said those seen on CCTV images at about 14:50, at the stadium's Leppings Lane end near Exit Gate C when it opened, "could have vital information".

"The purpose of this appeal is to try and fill in gaps in our evidence and put together the best possible file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] in order for them to make the most informed decisions," he added.

Image caption The rough location of Gate C. The layout was changed some time after the Hillsborough disaster

Officers said they had been given names for a further eight people - in addition to the eight traced - and were in the process of contacting them. Three witnesses have yet to be identified.

Detectives said they closed the appeal to find the remaining three witnesses in order to "stay on track" with passing a file to the CPS at the end of the year.

In April an inquest jury concluded the 96 who died at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed.

It found a number of errors by South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Ambulance Service, as well as stadium defects, contributed to the deaths.

Hillsborough inquests: The 96 who died

Operation Resolve is one of two criminal investigations ordered after the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report in 2012.

A separate criminal investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is examining police conduct.

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