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Beijing passed a safe New Year's Eve last night but the same cannot be said for Shanghai, where at least 35 were killed and 42 injured in a stampede at the overcrowded Bund.
News reports are coming in that the event happened at around 11:35pm Tuesday night as tens of thousands of people poured onto the Bund to celebrate the New Year.
No cause of the stampede has been determined, but rumors and photos are circulating on Weibo that a 4th floor club located on the Bund, M18, had tossed promotional flyers down on the crowd that looked like US100 bills near the time of the accident.
Though purely speculative at this time, the location of the accident -- at Chenyi Square -- is very close to M18's location and indeed their New Year's Eve party flyers are designed to look like USD 100 bills.
One witness interviewed by an Eastday reporter who was at the site at the time of the accident claims to have seen someone toss the flyers down from the upper floor of the Bund No. 18 building, which is where M18 is located.
The identities of those killed and injured have not been released to date.
Follow updates on the Shanghai incident live (in Chinese) on Weibo here. We will post updates as the become available.
Meanwhile in Beijing, New Year's Eve celebrations appear to have taken place without incident, though one breathless CNN reporter claims “the Chinese government is cancelling” it’s New Year’s celebrations just before midnight in a “stunning turn of events”. Standing outside China World Tower 3, the reporter implied that the city had just ruthlessly clamped down on what was supposed to be the city's official party.
Focusing on a crowd that had gathered at the base of the tower, the reporter failed to inform his viewers that there was no official city celebration planned for anywhere except the Olympic Park, nor did he contextualize the report by saying that midnight countdowns on Dec 31 are not a popular form of celebration in China.
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog