Families view Hillsborough papers

Candles burn during a Hillsborough stadium tragedy memorial service at Liverpool's Anfield

Candles burn during a Hillsborough stadium tragedy memorial service at Liverpool's Anfield

First published in National News © by

The families of 96 people killed in the Hillsborough tragedy have begun viewing for the first time thousands of official documents relating to the disaster.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel is overseeing the release of previously unpublished papers from around 80 organisations including the Government, police, emergency services, Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire coroner.

A report explaining the contents of the documents will be published by the panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones.

The families of the 96 football fans who died in Britain's deadliest sporting disaster are the first to see more than 400,000 pages.

The Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium on April 15, 1989, where their team were meeting Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final.

The club offered an apology to the families and said it hoped the documents would bring them "closure".

A statement from Sheffield Wednesday said: "Chairman Milan Mandaric and the current board of directors have adopted a policy of complete compliance with the requests of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and on behalf of the club would like to offer our sincere condolences and an apology to all the families who have suffered as a consequence of the tragic events of 15 April, 1989."

Mandaric took over in December 2010 and the statement added the club had been "totally transparent" in helping the report be compiled.

It added: "Sheffield Wednesday FC welcomes the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report and would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of hard work by all involved during what was, and continues to be, an extremely emotive process."

Prime Minister David Cameron will address MPs in the House of Commons following PMQs and the documents will be uploaded to a website for viewing by the general public.

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