Protective fences are intended as a safety measure, closing off areas and marking paths. At the Love Parade in Duisburg on July 24th, 2010, however, they contributed to the tragic disaster by making narrow paths even narrower and causing people to stumble. What had been anticipated as the party of the year by thousands of young people developed over the course of the day into a catastrophe: 21 people died, at least 650 were injured and thousands more traumatised. Many suffer to this day from the consequences of this sequence of planning errors and human failure. Ten years after the Love Parade, there are still no new measures in place for regulating the flow of people at large events.
However, major accidents sometimes do have consequences. Despite the tragedy and loss of life, they can also reveal fundamental shortcomings and lead to improvements or even innovations. When the largest fire disaster in a German airport took place on April 11th,1996 in Düsseldorf, it led to 17 deaths, 88 severe injuries and several hundred light injuries. But it also led to safety and fire protection being given highest priority when several portions of the airport were renovated and rebuilt. Before you leave this room, you will come across a very personal object from the airport fire and the story behind it – look out for the mobile phone in the display case.