1 Jan 2015

Dozens crushed to death in Shanghai

9:05 pm on 1 January 2015

A stampede during New Year celebrations in China's most populous city, Shanghai, has killed at least 35 people and injured more than 40 others.

A crowd gathers to look at flowers placed at the site of the New Year's Eve stampede at the Bund in Shanghai.

A bicycle lies deformed after the stampede. Photo: AFP

The crush happened just before midnight in Chenyi Square in the historic Bund riverside district overlooking the Huangpu river, where thousands of people had gathered to see in 2015.

A bicycle lies deformed on the scene of a New Year's Eve stampede in Shanghai.

A bicycle lies deformed after the stampede. Photo: AFP

Ambulance workers tried to resuscitate victims amid scattered belongings, the BBC reported.

Some witnesses quoted on social media said the crush was triggered by people stopping to pick up fake money thrown from the balcony of a nightclub.

Cui Tingting told the BBC what happened:

"It's too cruel. People in front of us had already fallen to the ground and other people were stepping all over them," she said (words translated).

"It wasn't an urgent occasion like a terrorist attack, where you need to run to save your life. People just needed to leave the site. We felt death so close to us last night."

The Shanghai City government said the situation began to deteriorate at 11.35pm local time and that a working group had been set up to handle the incident.

Many of those hurt had been transferred to Shanghai General Hospital, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said.

Photos posted on social media showed people receiving first aid on the road and large numbers of police cordoning off the area.