Shanghai Stampede Victims Mostly Young Women

Social media users blame tragedy on migrant population
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2015 10:37 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2015 10:52 AM CST
Shanghai Stampede Victims Mostly Young Women
Li Juan holds back tears as she recall the night her sister Li Na was killed in a deadly stampede in Shanghai, China, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

City officials are disclosing more information about Shanghai's New Year's Eve stampede as crowds gather in the city's waterfront area to mourn the dead. AP puts the death toll at 36; all but four of the victims identified were under 25 and 21 were women, officials say, though the youngest was a 12-year-old boy, AFP reports. The oldest victim was 37. Given China's birth restrictions, "most of the young victims must be the only child of their families," a local observes. Shanghai officials also addressed concerns about a lack of police, declaring 700 officers were at the scene. Police said earlier there were fewer officers present than on previous holidays. They now say the number was "more than normal," though officers faced tens of thousands of revelers.

One woman tells Xinhua her 12-year-old son survived but was left covered in shoe prints. "His forehead was bruised, he had two deep creased scars on his neck, and his mouth and nose were bleeding," she says. "I hope the government will offer better safety controls for events like this," adds a student whose high school classmate was killed. Others on Chinese social media site Sina Weibo have placed blame on the city's millions of migrants, many hailing from China's rural villages, claiming most of those crowded at the Bund were non-Shanghainese. "This incident is a lesson for those uncivilized outsiders," a sample post reads, per Quartz. "Please give Shanghai back its freedom." As of 2012, migrants made up as much as 40% of Shanghai's population. A 17-year-old migrant worker was among those killed. (More Shanghai stories.)

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