Authorities said a stampede reportedly killed at least 36 people during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Shanghai, but police denied reports it was caused by people rushing to pick up fake money thrown from a building overlooking the city’s famous waterfront. Reuters reports:
The government in China’s gleaming business capital said large crowds started to stampede on Chen Yi Square, in the riverside area known as the Bund, just before midnight.
It was the worst disaster in the cosmopolitan city since 58 died in an apartment building fire in 2010.
The cause of the crush has still to be confirmed, though state media and some witnesses have said it was at least partly triggered when people rushed to pick up coupons that looked like bank notes.
A man named Wu, who brought one of the 47 injured to hospital for treatment, said the fake money had been thrown down from a bar above the street as part of the celebrations.
But Shanghai police said on their official microblog that while closed-circuit television footage did show some bills had been thrown from a bar in a building overlooking the Bund, which a small number of people picked up, this did not cause the crush.