No one knows yet why this happened, but what was supposed to be a happy celebration to start off the new year in Shanghai, turned out to be the worst disaster to hit one of China’s main cities in recent years.
Fox News explains how on Thursday, New Years Day, people were still anxiously streamed into hospitals, waiting for new information on their loved ones, as they were unable to contact friends and relatives. At one of the hospitals where the injured were being treated, police brought out photos of unidentified dead victims, causing dozens of waiting relatives to crowd around. Not everyone could see, and young women who looked at the photos broke into tears when they recognized someone.
47 others received hospital treatment, including 13 who were seriously injured, after the chaos about a half-hour before midnight. Seven of the injured people had left hospitals by Thursday afternoon.
The deaths and injuries occurred at Chen Yi Square in Shanghai’s popular riverfront Bund area. The area is often jammed with people during major events. Many witnesses of the event came forward and spoke about what they saw.
Andrew Jordan Shainker, a 28-year-old American who said he watched the disaster unfold from a restaurant said, “It was utter chaos.”
A saleswoman in her 20s, who declined to give her name, said she had been celebrating with three friends. “I heard people screaming, someone fell, people shouted `don’t rush,”‘ she said. “There were so many people and I couldn’t stand properly.” She added that she still could not contact one of her friends.
Another woman was caught with her 12-year-old son in the middle of crowds of people pushing to go up and down steps leading from the square. “Then people started to fall down, row by row,” she said. When her son was finally brought to safety, he had shoe prints over his clothes, “his forehead was bruised, he had two deep creased scars on his neck, and his mouth and nose were bleeding,” she said.
The cause of this major incident is still under investigation.