December 31, 2014, a stampede occurred around 11:35pm in Chen Yi Square when the boundless huge crowd gathered along the historic Bund area to watch the countdown to New Year 2015. The stampede caused a killing of 36 with 47 more injured (China National Radio news 2014). The majority of the deceased were around 20 years old including college students and children, the youngest one was only 12-year-old.
Cause of Stampede
Around 11:35pm the stampede started when the crowd trying to move up the stairs to the riverfront esplanade were blocked. Those who fell were trampled on by other people in chaos. According to witnesses, one reason behind the stampede was that some people were throwing cash coupons resembling U.S. dollars to the crowd and many people stopped to collect the “money”. But this saying was later denied by the Shanghai police authority as the cash coupons were thrown around 23:50 after the stampede.
At the critical moment of stampede, a number of youngsters on the riverfront esplanade who were overlooking the accident called on the crowd to retreat and do not push forward. Around 11:55, the situation was under control. Police and people managed to make a way for the ambulance. All victims were soon sent to hospital for treatment.
At 04:01, January 1, 2015, Shanghai Municipal Government confirmed the stampede on its official microblogging and announced the establishment of a special team targeting at the tragedy. Chinese President Xi Jinping requested to spare no efforts in treating the injured and urged to investigate the stampede thoroughly. All key public shows scheduled on the night of January 1 had been cancelled by the local government.