The Hillsborough inquests commenced on March 31, 2014 and are the subject of reporting restrictions that have been imposed by the Attorney General's office. Liverpool Football Club is respectful of these restrictions and will therefore only be making available updates from other media channels for the duration of the inquest.

The report below - and the witness testimony contained within it - does not necessarily reflect the views of Liverpool FC. Please be aware that the reports on these pages will contain evidence about the day of the disaster which may be distressing.

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Courtesy of Press Association - November 5

A London firefighter has told the Hillsborough inquest that he was "dumbfounded" at the lack of help for stricken fans as disaster struck.

Anthony O'Keefe, a Liverpool fan, had left his seat and gone on the pitch to help victims, as 96 supporters were crushed to death on the Leppings Lane terrace of the Sheffield stadium as the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest got under way on April 15 1989.

But Mr O'Keefe, who had been a fireman with London Fire Brigade for three years at the time of the Hillsborough match and helped with the King's Cross rail disaster, said he was "amazed" at the lack of response from emergency services at Hillsborough.

Mr O'Keefe, who gave evidence at the inquest in his London Fire Service uniform, said after the match was abandoned he left his seat in the stand above the Leppings Lane terrace and made his way to the pitch.

He said: "I was dumbfounded, the fact that by the time I got on the pitch, it was enough time to get some emergency response."

Mr O'Keefe said while there, he saw a local firefighter in uniform with an oxygen cylinder.

He continued: "I asked him, I said, 'Where are all the firefighters?'

"He said a phrase, something like, 'there's 10 or 12 appliances outside, they think there's a major riot going on'.

"By then it was getting really frustrating."

Mr O'Keefe said when he first got on the pitch he had been given a green First Aid armband by a St John's Ambulance man and told, "Go and see what you can do."

The witness continued: "What I witnessed was something unbelievable.

"There was so many that was in need of care I felt so isolated.

"There's people lying all over this pitch and a line of police officers right across the middle and some police officers here helping with fans.

"This should not be happening, there should be some more response.

"I don't think all the time I was there, there was no great organisation.

"I would not want to use swear words but it was absolute chaos.

"It just beggars belief.

"I was just amazed at the lack of emergency response."

Mr O'Keefe found he could do nothing to save a number of fans but gave chest compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation to a number of others before helping to carry an injured fan to the stadium gym - hastily turned into a casualty station and mortuary.

Christina Lambert QC, counsel to the inquest, asked the witness: "When you went in the gym, what did you see?"

Mr O'Keefe said: "It just seemed like chaos.

"The thing I will always remember is the way there was bodies just laid out in a strange order.

"In rows.

"Dead and alive in the same vicinity."

He was told if he found no sign of life in an injured fan to put a T-shirt over that person's head.

He then stayed with a young fan who was shouting, "Am I going to die?" to reassure him and telephone his mother to let her know he was still alive.

Earlier the inquest jury heard from Stephen Curry, who was the chief football writer for the Daily Express and reporting on the match from the press box in the main stand at the game.

Mr Curry said around 15 minutes before kick-off, he noticed the build up of fans in the central pens of the Leppings Lane terrace behind the goal where the fans were crushed, and used a pair of binoculars to scan the scene as the disaster unfolded.

Mr Curry, a sports journalist for 27 years at the time, said: "You get a feeling for these things when you have been going around football matches four, five times a week. You get a feeling for when things are brewing. It's almost like an instinct. I felt it that day.

"I said to a Liverpool radio colleague, 'I don't like the look of what's going on around there'."

He agreed there was an "extraordinary imbalance" between the central pens which were "absolutely heaving" but plenty of room in the pens either side.

Mr Curry said: "It appears people were in the wrong pens. They should be balanced across the whole (terrace)."

He was asked about police reaction as it became apparent disaster was looming.

Mr Curry replied: "Well there did not seem to be any. I was actually shouting in the press box, 'Open the gates!' Yet nobody opened the gates. I just could not understand it."

Mr Curry agreed officers on the ground appeared to "lack organisation and leadership," and after the match was abandoned at 3.06pm the scene on the pitch was, "Chaotic. Totally chaotic," with the police, "extremely slow to react to what was happening".

Mr Curry agreed in a statement he gave earlier this year he described the Hillsborough Stadium as "not fit for purpose" to host the FA Cup semi-final.

The witness said the ground was not used to having full houses of 50,000 fans and it was "common sense" Liverpool fans should have been given the much larger Spion Kop end of the Sheffield ground not the Leppings Lane end.

The witness said he was a well known journalist and Manchester United fan and had spoken to Liverpool fans before the game.

He said: "It was all very friendly banter, as it always is with Liverpool fans."

Mr Curry was then asked about other witnesses, including police officers, who said they could smell alcohol on the Liverpool fans.

He replied: "I have to say whenever a football match is organised at whatever level, you can smell alcohol because fans have a drink before a match."

He agreed, then and now, it was common practice for people to have a drink before a football match "including the press, I might add", Mr Curry said to laughter in court.

He added: "I have been a student of football for 50 years and I have to say at this point, in my view, Liverpool football fans are some of the best in the country...they understand the game, they're passionate about the game, they are amusing. You get a bad egg in every few dozen if you want, but overall I think Liverpool fans do themselves justice at home and abroad."

Douglas Lock, the next witness, was called to give evidence, but minutes later was excused from answering further questions.

Mr Lock, a retired superintendent with South Yorkshire Police, was the security officer for Sheffield Wednesday FC at the time of the disaster.

Mr Lock regarded it as his "public duty" to attend the inquest, but now suffers from Parkinson's Disease and a heart condition and is unable to recall events on the day of the disaster.

He was excused from giving further evidence with the agreement of the lawyers representing victim's families and others and the Coroner Lord Justice Goldring.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow morning.