Shanghai Bund 2014 New Year’s Eve Crowd Trampling Incident

A Chinese crowd waiting to cross the street during 2014 Shanghai New Year's Eve festivities at the Bund.


From Sina Weibo:

@人民日报 [The People’s Daily]: #Shanghai New Year’s Eve Trampling# New Year Tragedy! Trampling Accident Happens at Shanghai Bund During New Year’s Eve, 35 Dead 43 Injured — Around 11:35pm on 2014 December 31, a massive crowding and trampling occurred at the Chen Yi Square on Shanghai’s Bund in Huangpu district. As of 5am, it has resulted in 35 deaths and 43 injured. Most of those injured are students and have already been rushed to the hospital for care. The cause of the accident is currently being investigated. @上海发布 A moment of silence for those lives that will not be entering into the new year. [蜡烛]



Comments from Sina Weibo:


The comments are fucking still arguing over whether it is a problem with the Shanghainese population or the non-local population. Ridiculous. Just like how the moment something [negative] happens in certain places, it’s blamed on temporary workers. If it weren’t for the non-local population driving the economy, how could you all be so cocky?


Those criticizing 35 and the police, can you use your brains more? Shanghai’s public security is good, there are only so many police, they were all sent out to maintain order, the armed police formed human walls, and they all stood out there for at least six hours. It’s not like there was a regulation that people had to go to the Bund for New Year’s. This kind of stuff are all accidents. Why rush to argue over the reason why? Wouldn’t it be better to remind your friends around you to be mindful of their safety and think more about your emergency response in dangerous situations?


Who was the one who tossed out the fake USD and caused these deaths? Human flesh it.


The most important thing is why did someone design coupons to look like USD and incite the people’s commotion…? What was a beautiful New Year’s was ruined by the counterfeit USD showered down from a building above. Just how many families, just how many parents, just how many people are crying… We should also reflect on why everyone would become so excited and irrational over the fake USD showered down from the sky…?


From personal experience, let me share what to do when encountering similar situations: 1. Avoid going against the tide, as one person or a few simply cannot go against the tide of people. If you go against the tide, you’ll be pushed down, so you should go with the flow, gradually move towards the outside, and once you’re outside and against a building’s wall it becomes much safer; 2. You absolutely must watch your feet, as sewer grating, gutters, bags, and garbage can all cause you to fall and it is very difficult to get back up in a tide of people; 3. If you have multiple people with you, have the strong ones link arms on the outside encircling the weaker ones inside, and move with the tide together.


Chen Yi Square, just how sad Chen Yi’s spirit in the sky must be knowing this, thinking of how the number of casualties suffered by our military back when fighting the [Japanese] devils were no more than this.


Sigh, as it is often said, our people’s characters sure is low/poor. I saw a report last year, that when receiving emergency supplies after an earthquake in Japan, the people all conscientiously lined up. I know I’m going to be flamed for saying this but this is precisely the problem. Improving the economy is easy, but remodeling our countrymen’s character is extremely hard. Back when I was in school and studying, Lu Xun liked talking about our countrymen’s deep-rooted bad habits, but those after no longer talked about this issue. Indeed, it was Lu Xun who saw things clearly.


@超級夶夶夶儍寶__沈尛姐 Everyone please directly look at her microblog… [leads to a user that was accused of tossing fake USD that allegedly caused the stampede]


#Shanghai New Year’s Eve Trampling# Witness: There Were People Tossing “USD” At The Scene — According to ThePaper, “USD” was thrown around at the time and location of the incident, that “there was money floating down from a building above, with a lot a lot of money sprinkling down, all ‘USD’.” This lasted for “about 3 minutes”. The witness says the place where the money was being thrown was from the top of the Bund 18. These so-called USD were all vouchers for a nightclub that were printed with the design of 100 USD bills.


The upstairs of the Bund [buildings] are gathering places for the nouveau riche and wealthy yuppies, who imbibe famous wins in the high-end restaurants and bars as they watched the bustling Shanghai nightscape, while the ordinary common people can only brave the cold winds below, just to see the New Year’s countdown. May the departed rest in peace!

The M18 nightclub vouchers with 100 USD design that allegedly incited the trampling incident.
The M18 nightclub vouchers with 100 USD design that allegedly incited the trampling incident.

From Sina Weibo:

@陈宗鹤先生: Shanghai Bund Trampling Accident Video of The Scene — This video from Southern Metropolis is so far the closest one to the scene of the incident available, as well as the one most capable of restoring the truth of the situation at the time. Basically, it had nothing to do with the showering of money [at Bund 18]. I believe the description of the person involved, that the trampling arose from some people wanting to squeeze up to get a better view of the light show and countdown (it was only 15 minutes until the countdown to midnight), while others wanted to come down. There is no conspiracy theory, the only reason for the accident: Too many people.

The captions:

  1. On the night of 2014 December 31, thousands to tens of thousands of city residents headed to Shanghai’s Bund for the countdown to 2015.
  2. 11:30pm, the crowd has squeezed into a mass.
  3. 11:34pm, someone has fallen down from the crowding at the bottom of the stairs.
  4. 11:40pm, several young people began leading everyone in chanting: Move back! More and more people join in the rallying cry, and the downward flow of people gradually lessens.
  5. 11:50pm, after people at the top of the stairs dispersed a bit and some space was made, people began helping up those who had fallen from top to bottom.
  6. 11:55pm, all those who had fallen but were not injured had gotten up, but those who are all lying on the ground were no longer alive.
  7. As of 5am on 2015 January 1, the accident has caused a total of 35 deaths and 43 injured. The cause of the accident is currently being investigated.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


“Move back” is probably 2015’s first positive slogan. I’m genuinely moved.


It was quite moving seeing the students collectively shouting for people to move back in the video. The people at the scene were also trying their best to help, but the tragedy nevertheless happened.


Those young people who shouted for people to move back, I truly thank them. If it weren’t for so many people shouting together, who knows how many more people would’ve perished.


Those young guys who shouted to move back are boundlessly virtuous.


Video of the scene has arrived, and it has fuck all to do with the scattering of money. In such a noisy scene, with all the screaming girls, can you discern which are screams of excitement and which are screams of sadness? I thank those guys who yelled for everyone to move back. They averted an even bigger disaster.


If it weren’t for those few young guys in the video chanting “move back”, I believe the number of casualties would be even higher.


This video also refutes the accusation that there weren’t any police at the scene at the time.


Regardless of what the truth is, those guys who spontaneously shouted for everyone to move back truly is touching.


Move back… a moving example of positive energy.


I’m touched by those young people shouting move back.


This story remains the #1 trending topic and #hashtag# on Chinese microblogging social network Sina Weibo, read/viewed over 640 million times at time of translation…

From Sina Weibo:

#Shanghai Bund Trampling Accident#

Introduction: On the early morning of the 1st, a trampling accident occurred during the New Year’s festivities at the Bund in Shanghai, resulting in 36 deaths, 25 of whom were female, and 48 injured. After the accident occurred, people nearby spontaneously linked hands and arms to block the tide of people, to give space to the injured and open a path for ambulances. All of Shanghai’s New Year’s festivities for the 1st have been canceled. Shanghai police circulate that the “trampling caused by USD being thrown into the air” story that was spread were actually vouchers, did not cause the crowding, and moreover happened after the trampling incident.



Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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