Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, February 06, 2004
Lantern Festival stampede kills 37 near Beijing
A total of 37 people were killed and 15 injured in a Lantern Festival gathering Thursday night in Beijing's suburban Miyun County. The accident happened at 7:45 p.m. Thursday in the Mihong Park where people were celebrating the Lantern Festival.
A total of 37 people were killed and 15 injured in a Lantern Festival gathering Thursday night in Beijing's suburban Miyun County, sources with the municipal government said.
The accident happened at 7:45 p.m. Thursday in the Mihong Park where people were celebrating the Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month and is regarded as the last day of the Spring Festival.
Thousands of people had come to watch the specially prepared lanterns featured at the annual festival.
One spectator stumbled on a bridge in the park and a lot of people fell down accordingly. Many of them were suffocated to death. Doctors rushed to the spot right after the disaster.
Scene of the stempede accident at Miyun county
Upon hearing the mishap, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao called for utmost efforts to save the injured and urged investigation into the cause of the accident.
Beijing Party chief Liu Qi and Acting Mayor Wang Qishan rushed to the site to help direct rescue work.
All injured out of danger
Four seriously injured people were out of danger Friday. One of the injured has woken up from coma and the three others are out of serious danger though two of them are still in a coma, sources with the municipal government said.
Fifteen injured were rushed to Miyun hospital immediately after the accident, among whom four were described as critical, including three in coma.
The Beijing municipal government has gathered experts in Beijing on chest surgery, orthopedics and neurosurgery to take care of the injured until they have recovered, said Jin Dapeng, head of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.
Miyun is located about 65 km to the northeast of Beijing's downtown.