Shanghai stampede survivor recalls her horror in FB posting

Shanghai stampede survivor recalls her horror in FB posting
Family members mourn for the victims of a stampede by new year's revellers on the seventh day after the accident in Shanghai's historic riverfront in Shanghai on January 6, 2015.

PETALING JAYA - A traumatised Malaysian survivor of the New Year's Eve stampede in Shanghai has broken her silence on the horrific incident that claimed her cousin's life.

Ooi Hooi Yi from Butterworth related the events leading to the tragedy that resulted in Tan Wei's death in a Facebook posting on Friday.

"On our way to the Bund, the streets were filled with people and the vehicles could barely move.

"We were excited yet afraid of being separated. She (Tan) held my hand tightly without letting it go.

"Little did we know that the stampede and not the fireworks awaited us," the 21-year-old INTI International University student wrote.

Ooi revealed that the stampede started because there were two types of crowd - one trying to get on top and the other trying to get off it.

Caught between the two crowds, there was barely space to breathe, she said, adding that the people around her started to collapse.

"We were eventually pushed to a corner leading to a flight of stairs. People were pushed off the staircase and they fell one by one on me," she related.

"I struggled hard to get up. For a moment, I wanted to give up and thought I would not live to see 2015," she added.

Unsure of how long she was caught under the human pile, Ooi only felt the weight ease off as the people were finally pulled away and she was "able to breathe" then.

She was then sent to the Changzheng Hospital where she was told by the paramedics that due to the prolonged period of being trapped under such weight, the capillaries in her eyes and her face "popped", causing the whites of her eyes to turn "fully red".

Ooi and Tan, 20, had travelled from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province to Shanghai for the New Year countdown celebration.

Tan, from Jenjarom, Selangor, was an agriculture resources and environment undergraduate of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.

Thirty-six people, aged between 16 and 36, were killed in the stampede at the Chen Yi Square on the Bund, which is the city's famous waterfront attraction. More than 47 people were injured.

Ooi who is now back here, chose to pen her thoughts on social media instead of verbally recounting her experience.

"I have tried to speak about it but it takes a lot of strength to do so," she wrote.

"I tremble at the thought of it and my blood pressure increases. I don't feel like explaining it anymore."

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