What caused the human crush at a football match in Sheffield which left so many people dead and injured?

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has ordered an inquiry into what exactly caused the disaster at the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough in Sheffield on 15 April 1989. 

94 people dead and 47 injured, some very seriously. That's the grim toll of Saturday's disaster at the Hillsborough soccer ground in Sheffield.

The reasons for the disaster will the subject of inquiry for many months ahead. A number of key issues have already been identified as being central to the tragedy which is described as 

The worst disaster in British soccer history

Reporter John Egan examines the factors that led to the tragedy.

Ten minutes before the game started, police outside the stadium knew that they had a serious crowd control problem as a result of the late arrival of around four thousand Liverpool fans. British Labour MP Joe Ashton, who was at the match, describes the problems with crowd control at the stadium and the moments that led to the deaths of so many football fans. 

Police have been criticised over the way in which they managed the crowd and also over the way in which they limited the allocation of tickets to Liverpool fans. Rogan Taylor of the Football Supporters Association says that tickets should be supplied where there is greater demand in order to avoid a situation where thousands of fans are congregated outside stadiums trying to get tickets. 

While the late arrival of fans and limited allocation of tickets are factors, it was the controversial security fences within the stadium that led to the large number of deaths. Critics of the fences say that they are designed for crowd control rather than crowd safety. People do not die from invading the pitch, they die from being trapped. 

Those who died were crushed to death or were suffocated.

This episode of 'Morning Ireland' was broadcast on 17 April 1989. The presenter is David Hanly and the reporter is John Egan.