Controversial and graphic footage of the Bradford City fire disaster has been pulled from the internet video site YouTube after the T&A highlighted it today.

The majority of the horrific images have been removed from the site following today's front page story.

ITV Yorkshire, who hold the copyright for the footage, had threatened legal action over the images being posted.

The owner of the YouTube site, internet giant Google, has pledged a full investigation. Several postings of the video, showing the fire breaking out and engulfing the ground in May 1985, had been taken down over the weekend.

Paul Firth was at Valley Parade that day and was himself injured in the fire. He wrote a book detailing the events of that day and the aftermath called Four Minutes to Hell, which raised money for burns research.

He said: "I was there, I was injured that day. People I knew were much more seriously injured than me.

"One of the deceased was the father of a friend of mine. I and everyone else who was there will never forget the horror of that day.

"When I was writing my book I interviewed a number of people who were there, including the son and daughter of a man who died.

"What struck me was the immense bravery they showed. Those people were able to speak about it, but many cannot. I saw the footage on Yorkshire Television the night it happened. I was not able to watch it again for over 20 years.

"I don't think it should be the case that no-one can ever see the footage. I know many people who would never want to see it, but I think in certain circumstances and with proper warnings it would be all right.

"This is not one of those cases. What concerns me about YouTube is that this is just put up there, that is just not acceptable.

"I am very pleased the footage has apparently been removed but very disappointed that it was put up there in the first place."

Bradford City chairman Julian Rhodes and the Bradford City Supporter's Trust both condemned those responsible for the postings, saying that it merely added to the grief and pain of those who had suffered.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Choudhary Rangzeb, was among those who demanded the footage should be removed.

He said: "The Bradford City fire disaster had a huge effect on the district and still holds very painful memories for a lot of people.

"Whoever put this footage on the website has shown a total lack of respect and compassion for everyone who was affected by the tragedy."

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Bradford Council David Ward said that a degree of corporate responsibility was needed.

"Unfortunately some people have a morbid interest in these things but it is all about restraint," he said.

"While I cannot imagine anyone watching such awful scenes for enjoyment, many people not directly touched by it may have an interest.

"The problem is that people do what they want without thinking of the effect it has on others, particularly the families of those who died.

"This was thoughtless and very regrettable. There has to be corporate responsibility. These companies have a moral responsibility to prevent this kind of thing happening.

"Hopefully this will send out a message to anyone in the future."


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