The new year kicked off tragically in Shanghai last night as 35 revelers packed among a youthful crowd of thousands along the city’s picturesque Bund tourist area died in a stampede.
The dead range in age from 16 to 36, and include three Taiwanese and a Malaysian, media reported. China’s one-child policy makes it relatively likely that some will leave behind parents with no surviving children. Another 48 people were injured.
Shanghai is one of China’s most international cities, a magnet for young people around the country, and a headquarters for numerous foreign businesses, including General Motors GM -0.51% and Ford. The Bund is a historic commercial and tourist district along the western bank of the Huangpu River with structures dating back to the 1800s.
The area is popular on New Year’s Eve for fireworks and views of the city’s financial district on the other side of the river where glimmering new skyscrapers underscore China’s rising global clout since it embarked on economic reforms three decades ago.
Shanghai has one of China’s largest expatriate populations and is considered to possess one of the country’s best-administered police and city governments. Unlike Times Square in New York, however, crowd control measures in the Bund are relatively limited on New Year’s Eve.