Chinese state media criticises government after New year stampede kills 36

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The Chinese public and state media criticised the government after a stampede in Shanghai killed 36 people.

While the criticism focused on the lost lives, many also believed that the event had caused a huge dent in Shanghai and China’s global reputation.

The Xinhua news agency clearly blamed the government for the event and asked why there were so few police officers policing the tens of thousands crowding Shanghai’s promenade area, also known as the Bund.

“It was a lack of vigilance from the government, a sloppiness,” the news agency wrote.

“The disaster, which happened in China’s financial hub of Shanghai, served as a wake-up call that the world’s second-largest economy is still a developing country which has fragile social management,” it said in an English-language commentary.

The site of the tragic incident has been closed off and a candle light vigil is being held by relatives of the deceased. Most victims were students in their 20s. There were also 47 injuries, of those 13 are in critical condition.

Police have responded to the criticism saying an investigation is currently under way. They believe that the stampede started as many rushed to reach better viewing ground on the harbour front area. On Thursday, they did not allow foreign media into a briefing, amid concerns of negative global media coverage.

The Bund has witnessed large new year celebrations since 2013, when the government provided entertainment in the area. In 2013 there was an estimated 300,000 people celebrating in the area.