China Confirms Indentities of Shanghai Stampede Victims

Chinese authorities confirmed the identities of the 36 people who died in a stampede on New Year’s Eve in Shanghai as the metropolis of 23 million engaged in citywide safety checks.

More than two-thirds of the fatalities were female, according to a statement on the city government’s official microblog. The youngest was a 12-year-old boy. Victims included students of Fudan University, East China Normal University and East China University of Political Science, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing unidentified people.

The incident has dealt “a heavy blow” to Shanghai’s image, state media said in a Jan. 1 commentary. Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered an investigation and told local governments to prioritize safety as the nation prepares for mass celebrations for the Lunar New Year next month.

Twenty people who sustained injuries from the stampede were discharged, while 29 people remained hospitalized as of 11 a.m. today, according to the microblog statement.

Local authorities started emergency safety inspections across Shanghai Jan. 1, according to a statement on the city government’s website today. The metropolis canceled several New Year’s events including a light show and concert as it deployed resources to public areas where crowds are expected, it said.

The disaster was Shanghai’s deadliest since a high-rise apartment building fire in 2010 that left 58 people dead. Inadequate surveillance and shoddy construction standards were the cause of that inferno, according to then-mayor Han Zheng, who has since been promoted to the city’s highest-ranking Communist Party official.

In Hong Kong, on New Year’s Eve 1993, 20 people, mostly teenagers, died and 71 were injured in a stampede in the Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district, the South China Morning Post reported.

— With assistance by Aipeng Soo

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