Shanghai: Chinese media and angry relatives of the victims of the New Year's Eve stampede at Shanghai's iconic waterfront area on Friday criticised the government's failure to prevent the tragedy that killed 36 people and injured 49 others, marring the gleaming financial hub's image.
All the dead were identified today even as the municipal government has been caught in the backwash of criticism for not making effective preparative measures to cope with the crowds that flock to the Bund, although it did close the nearest subway station to the area, state-run Xinhua new agency said in a report today.
An investigation ordered by President Xi Jinping to determine responsibility for the tragedy has started.
49 people were injured at Shanghai's iconic waterfront area with 13 of them badly hurt in the stampede during New Year celebrations late on Wednesday while four are in critical condition. 18 of the injured have been discharged from hospital, local authorities said.
The municipal government has identified all those who died, among them were 21 women aged in their 20s while the youngest was a 12-year-old boy.
The local government has organised eight experts from the municipal mental health centre and summoned another 40 in preparation to offer counselling service to the stampede victims at three hospitals.
Meanwhile, police investigations determined that the coupons with the name of the local Bar M18 printed on coupons resembling USD 100 currency which were reportedly tossed from a building at the Bund, were not the cause of the stampede, state-run CCTV reported.
Shanghai police's microblog said that an investigation has found that the coupons were thrown at 11.46 PM by which time the stampede had already been triggered. The coupons were thrown a little further from where the stampede took place.
Investigations however still focussed on what caused the tragedy just before the New Year countdown.
Meanwhile, Cai Lixin, deputy commander of the Huangpu district police station, said the number of police at the scene was lower than that deployed on National Day because the government had not organised any formal event in the square.
But the crowd was larger than expected, he said.
At least three witnesses said there was no crowd control near the stairs where the stampede broke out, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Shanghai has organised gala shows on the western bank of Huangpu River for new year countdowns in previous years, with a strong police presence on the riverside to control crowds and maintain order.