Dec 31, 2014 7:00 PM

35 killed, 42 injured in Shanghai stampede

The Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) Thirty-five people died in a stampede during New Year's celebrations in downtown Shanghai, city officials said the worst disaster to hit one of China's showcase cities in recent years.

A Shanghai government statement said another 42 people were injured amid the chaos about a half-hour before midnight.

The deaths and injuries occurred at Shanghai's popular riverfront Bund area, which can be jammed with spectators for major events.

CCTV America, the U.S. version of state broadcaster China Central Television, posted video of Shanghai streets after the stampede, showing piles of discarded shoes amid the debris.

One photo from the scene shared by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency showed at least one person doing chest compressions on a shirtless man while several other people lay on the ground nearby, amid debris. Another photo showed the area ringed by police.

The cause of the stampede remained under investigation, a brief Xinhua report said.

Last week, the English-language Shanghai Daily reported that the annual New Year's Eve countdown on the Bund that normally attracts about 300,000 people had been cancelled, apparently because of crowd control issues. The report said a "toned-down" version of the event would be held instead but that it would not be open to the public.

The stampede appeared to be near that area.

"Some people have fallen," Shanghai police soon warned on Weibo, a Twitter-like service, and they urged people to obey police and leave the scene without pushing.

The Shanghai city government released photos online showing the mayor hurrying into a local hospital to visit victims.

Meanwhile, Xinhua's top story on its website was not the stampede but President Xi Jinping's New Year's message. Xinhua's story in Chinese remained just two paragraphs long hours after the disaster.

Shanghai's historic Bund riverfront runs along an area of narrow streets amid restored old buildings, shops and tourist attractions. The China Daily newspaper in February reported that the city's population was more than 24 million at the end of 2013.


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