December 31, 2014 / 9:34 PM / in 3 years

New Year's Eve stampede kills 35 on Shanghai's Bund tourist strip

Relatives of a victim hug as they wait at a hospital where injured people of a stampede incident are treated in Shanghai January 1, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A stampede killed at least 35 people and injured 43 during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Shanghai, on the city’s famed waterfront tourist strip known as the Bund, authorities said.

The Shanghai government said that large crowds started to stampede in Chen Yi Square on the Bund just before midnight, with authorities working to rescue and aid the wounded.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the stampede. The official Xinhua news agency said many of the injured were students.

The government said on its official microblog that an inquiry had begun, with city leaders rushing to the scene and to hospitals to visit the injured. An emergency meeting would be held to ensure stepped-up safety measures were taken throughout the city.

Photographs on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, showed densely packed crowds of revelers along the Bund, which is lined with buildings from Shanghai’s pre-communist heyday on the bank of the Huangpu River.

In some photographs, rescue workers were seen trying to resuscitate victims lying on the pavement while ambulances waited nearby.

Authorities had shown some concern about crowd control in the days leading up to New Year’s eve. They recently canceled an annual 3D laser show on the Bund that last year attracted as many as 300,000 people.

At dawn on Thursday, there were still small crowds of revelers trying to find taxis home and workers were clearing up trash strewn around the Bund. There was little sign of the mayhem that had broken out just hours earlier.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Howard Goller and Mark Bendeich

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