Stampede Kills 35 At Shanghai New Year’s Celebration

January 1, 2015

A stampede during New Year’s Eve festivities in Shanghai has left 35 people dead and at least 42 injured, many seriously, NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports.

Anthony also reported that organizers of events in the city’s riverfront Bund district had canceled a laser light show and the countdown to midnight in order to avoid the crowds seen last year, which exceeded 300,000.

The Associated Press reported on one possible cause for the sudden crush of people, and on reactions by friends and relatives seeking their loved ones afterward:

“The official Xinhua News Agency quoted an unnamed witness as saying people had scrambled for coupons that looked like dollar bills that were being thrown out of a third-floor window. It said the cause of the stampede was still under investigation.

“At one of the hospitals where the injured were being treated, police brought photos out of dead victims who they had not been able to identify, causing dozens of waiting relatives to crowd around the table. Not everyone could see, and young women who looked at photographs someone had taken on a cellphone broke into tears.”

CCTV video shows the aftermath of the incident:

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