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Penalties pending for district officials over deadly stampede

THE city’s Party discipline authorities confirmed today that five Huangpu District senior officials, including Party secretary Zhou Wei and district director Peng Song, violated frugality rules by dining in a luxury Japanese restaurant hours before a stampede killed 36 people at the Bund on New Year's Eve.

The officials had sushi, ramen, rice dumpling and sake at the Utsusemi Japanese restaurant and didn’t pay the bill, of over 2,700 yuan, the discipline inspection commission said, adding that punishment for the officials will be announced later.

The commission began an investigation following reports that officials of Huangpu District – which administers the Bund area — dined in the high-end restaurant in a complex where a ticket-only light show was held, a commission spokesman said.

The place is just a short distance away from the site of tragedy where tens of thousands of people gathered along the waterfront to watch the New Year light show.

A report in Caixin magazine said the officials dined at the Utsusemi Japanese restaurant which has four private rooms and serves set-menu dinners priced from 1,888 yuan (US$305) to 3,888 yuan per person. It said the restaurant is owned by a company operated by the district government.

The Huangpu District government has been at the center of a storm after the deadly stampede. Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said it was “a bloody lesson” for the city.

Several public celebration events for the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival in the city have been canceled for safety reasons.


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