Shanghai Stampede Caused By Scramble For ‘Fake Money’

A New Year’s Eve stampede on Shanghai’s historic waterfront that killed at least 35 people and injured dozens more, with witnesses saying revellers was caused by fight over fake money thrown from a building.

The disaster happened in a crowded square shortly before midnight on Wednesday as people packed the Bund area to usher in 2015, according to a city government statement.

State TV footages showed abandoned footwear littering the area and a line of police vans with sirens flashing. While the cause of the crush was still under investigation, the Xinhua cited a witness as saying people had rushed to retrieve US dollar-like notes thrown from a nearby window. City officials said 35 people died and 48 injured, 14 of them seriously. ‘‘I felt I was suffocating,’ wrote one person on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

A stampede happens during a New Year celebrations in the bund area in east China's Shanghai early Thursday morning local time
A stampede happens during a New Year celebrations in the bund area in east China’s Shanghai early Thursday morning local time

The Bund, renowned for its pre-Chinese revolution architecture, is the former financial district of the country’s commercial hub and now a popular tourist destination, packed with high-end restaurants and expensive boutiques. By dawn, there was little evidence of the disaster beyond a lone police van with flashing lights and rubbish discarded by celebrants.

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