Tears as Shanghai laments stampede victims

 

 

 

Flowers are presented to mourn for stampede victims at the Bund in Shanghai, east China,

on January 6, 2015, seven days after the tragedy.   Photo by Ding Ting

 

 

Citizens mourn for stampede victims at the Bund in Shanghai, east China, on January 6, 2015,

seven days after the tragedy.   Photos by Ding Ting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tears

as Shanghai

laments stampede victims

 

 

 

By Yao Yuan, Wu Zhendong, Pan Xu, Zhu Hong and Lü Dong 

 

 

 

The city of Shanghai was steeped in sorrow on Tuesday of January 6 as citizens and victims’ families visited the site of the New Year’s Eve stampede to mark the seventh-day commemoration of the tragedy.

Braving freezing temperatures and drizzle, visitors laid flowers and winter clothes on the Chen Yi Square near the Bund area, where the stampede killed 36 people and injured 49 others.

There were tearful moments for relatives of the victims, some of whom, overwhelmed by sorrow, fainted at the site and were attended to by medical staff on stand-by.

Many held portraits showing the young faces of the deceased.

“We felt so sad that these young lives vanished in such a happy moment,” said a tourist from Anhui Province, who placed flowers at the site.

The crush happened at about 11:35 p.m. on December 31 on the Bund, a riverbank walk where tens of thousands of revelers gathered to ring in the New Year against the backdrop of illuminated skyscrapers along the Huangpu River.

Tuesday marked the seventh-day commemoration of the tragedy. In China, the seventh day after any death marks the height of mourning as people believe that souls come back to the earthly world to pay their last visit to family on that day.

The site was cordoned off on Tuesday, and visitors were ushered in by government workers. Some police officers patrolling the site said they had joined in the rescue mission that night and were here to lament the death.

The tragedy in one of China’s wealthiest and most modern cities has raised concerns over urban management and emergency response in China’s crowded cities.

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said Tuesday at a conference of the city’s legislature that Shanghai must draw a lesson from the New Year’s Eve stampede and reflect deeply on the incident.

“The lesson was extremely profound and extremely painful,” he said, adding that the cause of the accident is yet to be confirmed.

“We hope such disasters will never happen again,” said a Shanghai citizen at the site.

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI

 Shanghai mayor urges reflection on New Year’s Eve stampede

By Li Laifang and Qiu Yi

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said on Tuesday of January 6 that Shanghai must draw a lesson from the New Year’s Eve stampede and reflect deeply on the incident.

The consequences of the accident were very grave, said Yang at a session of the standing committee of the city’s legislature, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress.

Thirty-six people were killed and dozens more injured in the stampede, which occurred as tens of thousands assembled on Shanghai’s historic riverfront walk, the Bund, to usher in the New Year.

“The lesson was extremely profound and extremely painful,” he said.

Currently, medical treatment, handling of the aftermath and a joint investigation are under way, said Yang, adding the cause of the accident has not yet been confirmed through investigation.

He ordered a thorough overhaul of the current emergency plan for large crowds in key areas and times, stressing safety is the “bottom line” of all work.

The mayor urged strict implementation of preventative measures and emergency plans and promotion of public security eduction in society.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  

 China vows to ensure safety after tragedies

By Fang Dong

The Chinese central government pledged on Tuesday of January 6 to strengthen efforts to prevent accidents after several accidents caused heavy casualties during the New Year holiday.

The meeting said governments should take rapid action to ensure safety after an extremely bitter lesson, in a telephone conference on production safety of the State Council, China’s Cabinet.

The governments should strengthen management of transport during the Spring Festival, the meeting said.

The meeting also demanded an overall examination of production safety to eliminate any hazards and make preparation to respond rapidly if accidents occur.

A stampede in Shanghai killed 36 people during the New Year’s Eve celebrations, followed by a serious fire on Jan. 2 in the northeastern city of Harbin that killed five firefighters.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

 Beijing cautious of sales promotions after Shanghai stampede

By Mao Weihao, Lu Guoqiang and Wang Ruoyao

Beijing authorities have tightened supervision on sales promotions in shops and supermarkets out of fear of tragedies like Shanghai’s deadly New Year’s stampede.

Public security and commerce authorities in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, a busy commercial area, have ordered some large shopping malls and supermarkets to strictly follow a reporting system for sales promotions.

Retailers, including Carrefour and Walmart, are required to apply for a permit for promotions from the local public security bureau 20 days in advance, but the rule was not taken seriously by some retailers.

They are also required to carefully carry out safety checks and risk assessments, as well as deploy security measures beforehand, such as arranging for security guards at store entrances.

Many supermarkets and shops have planned generous discounts for the Chinese Lunar New Year, a traditional festival that falls in mid-February this year. However, the safety of bargain-hunters has become a concern following the Shanghai tragedy that claimed 36 lives and injured more than 40 people.

The concern may not be alarmist, since a 2007 stampede triggered by a Carrefour sales promotion killed three people and injured 31 others in southwest China’s Chongqing City.

A spokesman with the commerce commission of Chaoyang District said they will persuade retailers not to initiate flash sales.

A new Hualian supermarket in Chaoyang that was scheduled to offer doorbuster specials to celebrate its grand opening Monday was ordered to halt the promotion for fear of possible accidents.

The supermarket failed to report its promotion plan as required by regulations, according to the spokesman.

Crowded conditions and slack safety management during festivals often lead to safety hazards. In 2004, 37 people died in a stampede on a bridge in suburban Beijing during the Lantern Festival.

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI  |  2015-01-07 15:44:00 

 32 injured in Shanghai stampede discharged from hospital

By Cheng Lu and Qiu Yi

Thirty-two out of 49 injured people in the New Year’s Eve stampede in east China’s Shanghai have been discharged from the hospital, local authorities said.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission, 17 injured people are still under medical treatment as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday of January 7.

Among them, four are seriously injured and one is still in a critical condition, the commission said.

To mark the seventh-day commemoration of the tragedy, citizens and victims’ families visited the site of the stampede on Tuesday.

The deadly stampede, which killed 36 and injured 49, happened when people assembled in Shanghai’s historic riverfront walk in the Bund to see in the New Year last Wednesday night.

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI  |  2015-01-07 21:20:03

 Top Shanghai official expresses grief, guilt over New Year’s stampede

By Jiang Wei and Li Baojie

Shanghai’s top official on Wednesday of January 7 said he felt deep grief and guilt over the New Year’s Eve stampede that left 36 people dead and 49 injured.

Addressing a government conference on strengthening safety management, Han Zheng, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Shanghai Municipal Committee, lamented the huge loss of lives and ordered officials to learn a lesson from the tragedy.

Han said an investigation is under way and officials will be held responsible.

The officials should acknowledge the flaws in their work and draw a lesson to improve their work, Han said. He added that they should try their best to ensure the safety of life and property of each city resident.

He said authorities will launch a thorough overhaul of the current safety management system and take more stringent measures to guarantee city-wide safety.

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong said the joint investigation should be objective, fair and authoritative and related information should be released in a timely and transparent manner to address the public’s concerns.

Yang ordered improved safety management for large crowds in key places, such as stations, airports, scenic spots and shopping malls, and demanded precautions to brace for emergencies.

The deadly stampede happened when people assembled on Shanghai’s historic riverfront walk, the Bund, to usher in the new year last Wednesday night.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission, 17 injured people were still receiving medical treatment as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Among them, four were seriously injured and one was in critical condition, the commission said.

To mark the seventh day after the tragedy, citizens and victims’ families visited the site of the stampede on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI  |  2015-01-14 18:11:30

•  Officials’ alleged banquet on night of fatal stampede investigated

By Lü Qiuping and Yang Jinzhi

Shanghai authorities are investigating allegations of an opulent banquet held for district officials on New Year’s Eve, the municipal disciplinary watchdog said on Wednesday of January 14.

The investigation was sparked by reports by media outlets that at the same time as a fatal stampede, which left 36 dead and 49 others injured, Huangpu District officials were dining at a high-end restaurant in the same district.

A spokesman with the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Shanghai Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection confirmed that an investigation was underway.

According to media reports on Tuesday, the officials had eaten at a Japanese restaurant, where private room patrons spend on average 3,000 yuan (484 U.S. dollars) per person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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