SHANGHAI (AFP) – One of the 36 funerals for the victims of a New Year’s Eve crush in Shanghai was held Tuesday, after authorities finally allowed the ceremonies to go ahead.
Du Shuanghua, 37, lay in an open coffin at a funeral home in the city centre as friends and relatives placed flowers on both sides.
“I’m taking him back to his hometown tomorrow to let him rest in peace,” his wife Fan Ping told AFP. They had an eight-year-old son and Du was the family’s only breadwinner.
New Year revellers flocked to the Bund, Shanghai’s historic waterfront, but massive overcrowding saw people trampled, severely tarnishing the commercial hub’s image as the mainland’s most advanced city.
Questions were raised over authorities’ failure to enforce better safety measures and several district officials were dismissed from their posts, although higher-level leaders escaped responsibility.
In the meantime the families of the victims were “isolated”, they said, and funerals were blocked until an official accident report was released and compensation agreed.