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Bund stampede kills 36, injures 49

THE deadly stampede along the historic Bund area has killed 36 and injured 49 by 11am today, the Shanghai government said.

Two more injured were sent to hospitals for treatment yesterday afternoon. By 11am, 31 people were still in hospitals. Among them, 13 were seriously injured.

Identities of all the injured have been confirmed, the government said today. An investigation is still underway.

Most of the victims were in their 20s and the majority were women. The dead include a Taiwanese and Fudan University sophomore Du Yijun, while among the injured reporting a Malaysian woman and two Taiwanese.

The city government has opened two hotlines — 3376 1004 and 3376 6757 — for families of the injured and deceased and people who still don’t know what had happened to their relatives.

The stampede, which occurred about 11pm in Chen Yi Square across from the Peace Hotel, 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.

President Xi Jinping yesterday issued a call to spare no efforts in treating those injured in the stampede. He also urged a speedy and thorough investigation into the cause of the stampede.

Chen Yi Square is near the Bund Origin area, where a countdown for the New Year was being held.

For the past three years, the countdown show was held in an open area of the Bund. However, this year it was moved to the Bund Origin, a relatively enclosed area, due to safety concerns.

About 2,000 visitors were expected to watch the show, according to previous reports.

Last year, officials were caught off-guard when nearly 300,000 people turned up for the New Year countdown at the Bund, which led to traffic chaos.

The revised location was chosen "in order to improve traffic flow," the Huangpu District government said earlier.


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