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Liverpool supporters 'had fewer turnstiles'

Liverpool fans had the use of 23 turnstiles compared with 60 for opposition fans on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, the inquests heard yesterday.

The details emerged as Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin gave a series of "uncontroversial facts" covering the background to the tragedy, which left 96 Liverpool fans dead as tens of thousands descended on Hillsborough for the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.

Mr Malkin, the senior investigating officer for Operation Resolve, the criminal investigation into the disaster, began by giving the jury an introduction to the massive ongoing police investigation.

Around 40 relatives of victims watched from the public gallery as a series of maps, plans and photos of the stadium and the Leppings Lane terrace were shown on screens to the jury.

The inquests, being held at a business park in Warrington, Cheshire, began at the end of March and have so far heard two weeks of evidence.

The jury heard that the coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, had given Mr Malkin's team six key areas to investigate: stadium safety, preparation for the match, crowd management on the day and the fatal crush, the response of the emergency services, the medical causes of the deaths and the movements on the day of each of the deceased.

Mr Malkin said the stadium had 93 turnstiles and 83 were in operation on the day.

Sixty of these were situated towards parts of the ground for Nottingham Forest fans, leaving 23 for Liverpool fans, on the west side of the ground, numbered one to 16 and A to G.

The hearing continues.

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