China confirms identities of 36 victims in Shanghai stampede

An elderly man prays for the victims at the site of the New Year's Eve stampede in Shanghai on Jan 3, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
An elderly man prays for the victims at the site of the New Year's Eve stampede in Shanghai on Jan 3, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI - Chinese authorities confirmed the identities of the 36 victims killed in a stampede on New Year's Eve in Shanghai, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

More than two-thirds of the fatalities were female, according to a statement on the city government's official microblog. The youngest was a 12-year-old boy. Victims included students of Fudan University, East China Normal University and East China University of Political Science, according to Xinhua.

Shanghai's image as a metropolis has been marred by the incident, Chinese media reported. President Xi Jinping has ordered a probe and urged local governments to prioritise safety as the nation prepares for mass celebrations for the Lunar New Year next month, Bloomberg said.

The stampede happened on Wednesday night as tens of thousands of people assembled in Shanghai's historic riverfront walk to see a new year skyline show in the Pudong financial area on the opposite side of the Huangpu River.