Residents and tourists have come to lay flowers at the site of the stampede during New Year's Eve celebrations in Shanghai.

Shanghai stampede
Mourners light candles in the shape of a heart at a makeshift memorial at the site of a stampede on the Bund in ShanghaiKevin Frayer/Getty Images

Some 36 people were killed with 47 others injured in the stampede. Most of the injured were young people in their twenties -- a majority of them women.

The chaos began about half an hour before what was supposed to be a joyful celebration of the start of 2015.

According to a witness, Guo Xianzhong, a newspaper reporter from the city of Guangzhou, someone suddenly tumbled amidst the crowds, followed by others, and the situation was out of control in less than five minutes.

Shanghai stampede
Crowds panic during the New Year's celebration on the BundReuters
Shanghai stampede
This overhead view shows people being treated at the scene of the stampedeAFP
Shanghai stampede
Police and medical staff give first-aid to people injured during the stampedeChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
Shanghai stampede
Rescuers help victims of a stampede on Shanghai's historic riverfrontAFP

A day after the tragedy, some criticised the government, blaming it for failing to keep order at the city's most popular site and for miscommunications with victims' relatives.

"We were told my sister was still being rescued the minute before we were taken to the morgue, where she had been lying dead — clearly for a while," said Cai Jinjin, whose cousin Qi Xiaoyan was among the dead. "There she was, cold and all by herself."

Police at one hospital brought out photos of unidentified dead victims, causing dozens of waiting relatives to crowd around. Not everyone could see, and young women who looked at the photos broke into tears when they recognised someone.

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People try to identify their relatives from pictures of victims of a stampede, at a hospitalAly Song/Reuters
Shanghai stampede
The mother of a victim cries at the location where people were killed in a stampede incident during a New Year's celebration on the Bund in ShanghaiAly Song/Reuters

The Bund, a stretch of riverbank on the west side of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, is a popular destination for New Year's celebrations, with its historic architecture and skyscrapers along the river displaying dazzling light shows at night.

Shanghai stampede
People watch a light show on the Bund, before the stampede occurredReuters

After the stampede, the local government cancelled all New Year's celebrations on the Bund to honour the victims.