Shanghai New Year's Stampede Kills Dozens
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - At least 35 people have been killed and dozens injured after a stampede broke out during New Year's celebrations in the Chinese city of Shanghai, state-run media has said.
Citing Sina News, CCTV America said the the cause of the stampede on the Bund, the financial hub of Shanghai's popular waterfront area, was still unclear.
At least 48 people were also injured, reports said.
Jenny Chan, 24, visiting from Hong Kong for New Year at Chenyi Square on the Bund, told Al Jazeera: "I was heading up to the viewing platform in order to see the light show. But there were so many people, I couldn't put my feet down on the steps. People behind me kept pushing. I could hardly move and I felt as though I was dangling in mid air.
"It was very crowded. I almost couldn't breathe and I heard someone behind me call for her help, and someone scream. It was a total mess. Someone pulled my hair. I think they were trying not to fall down.
"Someone brought out a loudspeaker and tried to maintain the order. On the ground I could see blood and bodies, and some people's faces were covered in bruises.
"I've never felt so near death."
US national Andrew Shainker said that "it was impossible for emergency services to get in there given the people and chaos".
"We saw people on the opposite side of the street pushing - people trying to go up and people trying to go down. We heard screams of panic," Shainker, who teaches English in the city, told AFP news agency.
Pictures posted on social media showed huge crowds surrounding people lying on the ground in the middle of the street, but they could not be immediately verified.
Local media say witnesses reported earlier seeing coupons, which at first glance looked like dollar bills, being thrown into the crowd which triggered the stampede.
Pictures of the coupons have appeared on social media and a news portal. Police say they are still investigating the cause.
Authorities had earlier cancelled a New Year's countdown with a 3D laser display at the Bund due to crowd concerns, the Shanghai Daily reported last week.