China demands answers after stampede in financial hub Shanghai

admin   •   January 2, 2015   •   1919

A friend of a victim covers his face as he waits outside a hospital where injured people of a stampede incident are treated, in Shanghai January 1, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/ALY SONG

(Reuters) – Chinese state media and the public criticized the government and police on Friday for failing to prevent a New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai that killed 36 people and dented the city’s image as modern China’s global financial hub.

Apart from Hong Kong, which is run as a separate territory, Shanghai is China’s most international and cosmopolitan city, a glitzy home to global companies with ambitions to become a world financial center by 2020.

The official Xinhua news agency said the government could not shake responsibility for what happened. It asked why there were apparently so few police on duty for the tens of thousands thronging Shanghai’s famous waterfront, known as the Bund.

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

Xinhua noted that the crush happened not far from a much trumpeted new free trade zone described as the “pride of the country”.

“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.

Shanghai people echoed those complaints.

“There was not enough policing and planning. It is really sad to see a stampede happen in a big city like Shanghai,” said resident Tang Lifeng, 38.

The site of the stampede was cordoned off on Friday, with grieving relatives holding a candlelight memorial. Most victims were students in their 20s.

City officials said one Taiwanese was among the dead. Of the 47 injured, 13 were in critical condition, they said.

The waterfront has become a New Year countdown site in recent years after authorities brought in performances such as 3D light shows and fireworks. Celebrations in 2013 drew more than 300,000 revelers.

Police have given few answers, saying an investigation is going on. On Thursday, they did not allow foreign media into a briefing, underscoring concern about negative coverage.

They have dismissed reports that a rush to pick up coupons thrown from a bar overlooking the Bund was the cause, with focus shifting to overcrowding on a raised viewing area.

The stampede has prompted unflattering comparisons with India, where stampedes are relatively common, another rapidly developing country and rival that many Chinese feel superior to.

“I originally thought that stampedes like this could only happen to Indians on pilgrimages,” Cheng Daolin, a manager at a Chinese engineering company, wrote on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.

“In the space of one night, China has become like India, and Shanghai has become like Mumbai,” wrote another Weibo user.

(Editing by Robert Birsel)

Man fined for riding go-kart on streets of Shanghai

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2019

Security camera footage showing man riding go-kart on streets at Shanghai Municipality, east China. A man was fined 1,000 yuan (about 145 U.S. dollars) for riding a go-kart on the streets of Shanghai. | Courtesy: Reuters

A man was fined 1,000 yuan (about 145 U.S. dollars) for riding a go-kart on the streets of Shanghai, China.

The man, who was only identified by his surname Ye, was seen riding the go-kart on June 23 in Baoshan District.

The video posted online went viral and caught the attention of police as go-karts are classified as banned vehicles and are not allowed on public roads.

It turned out that the go-kart is actually a toy belonging to the offender’s 6-year-old grandson. While playing with his grandson on that day, he received an emergency call from his firm. Being in a hurry, Ye came up with the idea to borrow the go-kart from his grandson.

After getting caught by the police, Ye realized that his actions were reckless. He was fined 1,000 yuan and the go-kart was confiscated.

Police have emphasized that personal transporters like segways, e-scooters, and mobility devices for elderly people are prohibited on the streets in Shanghai. They are only allowed on pathways in closed compounds or indoors.

“These vehicles pose great hidden safety hazards while driving on the streets. If they are involved in an accident, settlement of claims cannot be guaranteed, so we ban these vehicles from driving on the streets,” said Mao Chenchen, a traffic police officer with the Baoshan branch of the Shanghai Public Security. (REUTERS)

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Eleven pulled alive from rubble in China building collapse

Robie de Guzman   •   May 16, 2019

A team of rescuers are trying to find survivors under rubble after a building collapsed in Shanghai, China on May 16. | Photo grabbed from Reuters footage

Rescue services pulled out 11 people alive from a collapsed building in China’s financial hub of Shanghai on Thursday (May 16), and about same number are believed to be still trapped in the rubble.

The building in Shanghai’s Changning district was being renovated when it collapsed late in the morning, trapping some 20 people inside, fire services said in a statement.

Witnesses heard a big bang which lasted for five to six second and a cloud of dust that enveloped the building.

“The accident happened at 11 am and a big bang lasted five to six seconds. I immediately ran to the balcony and saw the entire factory was surrounded by dust. After the dust dispersed, I found the factory collapsed. As it was my first time to witness this, I was quiet shocked,” said Zhang Lei, who was working in an office next to the collapsed building

More than 150 rescuers are on the scene but they have not said how the building collapsed. (REUTERS)

Trillanes belies allegations of having personal bank accounts in Singapore

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2017

Sen. Trillanes visits Singapore

Sen. Antonio Trillanes in Singapore

 

Senator Antonio Trillanes personally went to Singapore to belie the allegations of President Rodrigo Duterte that he has an offshore account in the said country.

Trillanes went to DBS Bank and then to HSBC here in Singapore this morning, but found no account under his name.

The managers of the banks could not release certification as he is not their client.

Following his visit to Singapore, Trillanes has once again challenged the President to sign a waiver to allow authorities to scrutinize his bank accounts.

“So from this, everyone can see that all the allegations of the President against me are all made-up to divert the public’s attention away from the primary issue which is the President’s involvement in illegal drugs, and his hidden wealth,” Trillanes said. “They do this at the same to divert my attention and to harass me and damage my name.”

President Duterte initially disclosed that the lawmaker has currency accounts in Shanghai, China, Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland, Singapore, and in Cayman Islands.

Mr. Duterte, however, noted that the senator’s accounts in Zurich and here in Singapore are already closed.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said authorities have to validate Trillanes’ claims that he has a non-existent bank account in Singapore.

“Those things have to be verified, apparently like we said, the President already checked into the background of that particular account ,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said. – Mary Jo Maleriado | UNTV News & Rescue

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