12/09/2012 14:23 BST

Hillsborough Tragedy: Witness Statements Reveal How Football Fans Were Crushed To Death As Police Watched

Here are exerts from three witness statements from fans given to South Yorkshire police shortly after the tragedy, released for the first time in the Hillsborough Independent Inquiry.

Liverpool supporter Patrick Cunningham to South Yorkshire police in April 1989

I did not see one policeman or steward within the confines of the ground once I gained entry via the gate. I can say at this point that I saw no person consuming alcohol in the ground, any acts of violence and disorderly behaviour.

As it neared kick off, I found I was having great difficulty breathing, not being able to expand my chest, so I ended up sucking in air to breathe. By this time there was a lot of moaning, the screams had died out.

I was trapped from about waist deep with arms and legs and bodies. I looked to my right where the man who was unconscious was and saw he was lying on his back, his eyes wide open with just the whites of his eyes showing, his eyes having rolled backwards. I thought the man was dead at this point and I leant over, pinched his nose, tilted his head back and tried to give him the kiss of life.

After a while I lent up, slapped him across the face to try and get some response, but was unable to do so. I remember looking around and behind me and I could see there were about seven policemen standing around not doing anything.

I screamed at one policeman to help me saying "get this guy out, I think he's dead".

I have heard stories in the press but I can say I saw nothing which I would class as a criminal offence before or after the crush.

My opinion is that I realise what's been said in the press about the reasons for opening the gate but that situation should never have arrived if people had been organised into queues and there was better policing outside the ground.

Witness statement of Joseph Glover, Liverpool supporter, who went to the match with his brother Ian Glover who died during the disaster to South Yorkshire police in April 1989

I never saw a fight or any kind of trouble at all, all the time I was there and I didn't see any person drinking inside the ground.

I was shouting to Ian through the fence to push back and he was saying to me that he couldn't and I could see his face was going blue, he was being crushed. I could see a lot of people's faces going blue.

While I was shouting to Ian, his voice was getting quieter and his face was going purple, and then I got pulled away by the police onto the pitch in front of the goal, and the police formed a line. I just waited trying to find my brother.

About 20 minutes later two policemen pulled Ian out and laid him on the pitch, I went to him and gave him the kiss of life and then a man came over after I had been trying for some time.

The man took Ian's pulse and there was nothing there and the man put his coat over Ian's face.

Witness statement of Nicola Stewart, Liverpool fan, whose friend Arthur Horrocks died to South Yorkshire police in April 1989

I watch Liverpool playing at home but have never been to an away game previously. When I saw the crowds initially I wasn't frightened but when we had gone through the outer perimeter and were trying to get through the turnstiles then i did start to become frightened.

I couldn't move at all my hands were punned to my side, I seemed to be swaying with the crowd my feet were pinned in one position, I was screaming and all around me people were screaming because the pressure was so unbearable.

I was gasping for air but there was nothing there, I wasn't able to expand my lungs because of the pressure we were all suffering from.

I could feel myself passing out, I actually thought that was it. Keith, David and Arthur were saying 'keep your head up, don't give up".

I thought that I was going to die, the experience is the most frightening experience i have ever been through in my life.

The three boys behind me were gone, they were dead, my nose was pressed against one of the boys who was dead.

They were only about 16 or 17.

We shouted to the police for us. They ignored us at first, I can't understand why they didn't do anything.


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