The 96 soccer fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster were unlawfully killed as a result of errors by police, an inquest jury found by a 7-2 majority on Tuesday. The deaths at the FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham came after authorities let in crowds of people by opening extra gates, causing a crush in a spectators' pen. The police official in charge of match security, Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, was found to have behaved with "gross negligence" in his duties, the BBC reported. The verdict overturns the findings of accidental death at the original inquests into the 96 deaths, after a 27-year campaign by victims' families. Liverpool football fans, who were initially accused of causing the crush by their behavior, were exonerated by the new jury. The court found that failures by police, defects in the stadium, a delay in the emergency response by ambulances and an issue in safety certification for the Sheffield stadium contributed to the disaster.
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