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Bund stampede kills 35, injures 48

AT least 35 people were killed in a stampede along the historic Bund area as huge crowds of revelers gathered to watch the countdown to the New Year, the Shanghai government said today.

The stampede, which occurred about 11:35pm in Chen Yi Square across from the Peace Hotel, left 35 people dead and 48 injured, the city government information office said on its Weibo site.

The injured were sent to several hospitals for treatment, including Changzheng Hospital, the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital, Ruijin Hospital and Huangpu District Central Hospital. By 8am, 46 people were still in hospital. Among them, 14 were seriously injured. An investigation has begun into the cause of the tragedy.

The stampede began when a large number of people trying tried to move up to the riverfront esplanade were blocked, according to witnesses. Those who fell were trampled on by others in panic.

“We were pushed forward by a huge crowd behind us,” a witness surnamed Zong from Xiamen told Shanghai Daily. “We didn’t want to move forward toward the riverfront area, but we had no choice. Suddenly a crowd from the front began to push us back. We fell down and we were among layers of people buried.”

He added: “I only managed to keep my head above the pile of bodies, and I began to feel numbness in my legs. Several minutes later, police pulled us off one another, one by one. It was so terrible. A friend of mine went missing.”

Zong said he kept trying to phone his friend and only managed to find out his fate at around 1:13am, when a nurse picked up the call and told him his friend was in Changzhen Hospital.

Standing grimly outside the emergency room today, Zong said, “I am still waiting for more information. They told me he was in serious condition. I am afraid he may have died.”


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