Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year's Eve tragedy leaves at least 35 dead in China

Thirty-five people have been killed in a stampede during New Year's celebrations in Shanghai, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the Shanghai government confirmed that another 42 people were injured amid the chaos about half an hour before midnight. The deaths and injuries occurred in the  popular riverfront Bund area. Last week, the Shanghai Daily reported that the annual New Year's Eve countdown on the Bund, which normally attracts upwards of 300,000 people had been cancelled, apparently because of crowd control issues. The report said a "toned-down" version of the event would be held instead but that it would not be open to the public.

Thousands gathered in London along the Thames to see an 11-minute firework display centring on the London Eye, accompanied by a electronic soundtrack and followed by Auld Lang Syne. Ticketing was introduced for the first time, with numbers kept to 100,000, down on the estimated 500,00 last year.

In Edinburgh, thousands took part in the huge outdoor celebrations before the clock struck midnight, with Lily Allen headlining the Concert in the Gardens, joined by special guests Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul. The world-famous street party also saw performances from Twin Atlantic, Eddi Reader and Young Fathers and an outdoor ceilidh with 3,000 dancers. High winds forced some last minute cancellations.

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