June 16, 2011
Inside Rogers Arena on Wednesday night, there was champagne in the Boston Bruins' dressing room and sullen faces for everyone wearing a Vancouver Canucks sweater after the home team's Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final.
In downtown Vancouver, it was anarchy.
Seventeen years after another Game 7 riot in the city, what began as a few random fires and incidents of vandalism by spectators became utter chaos, with looters stealing from local stores and police trying to clear the streets. From QMI:
Between 130 and 140 people were sent to hospital, including three people with stab wounds and two suffering trauma, while a number of others were treated in the courtyard of a downtown hospital for the effects of tear gas.
Most people were treated for tear gas and pepper spray effects, lacerations, facial trauma, substance abuse and head injuries, Alyssa Polinsky, spokeswoman for B.C. Ambulance, told QMI Agency Thursday morning.
There were no fatalities, but one person was in critical condition Thursday at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver. Polinsky could not confirm if it was the same person witnesses reported seeing jump off a viaduct.
Here are the scenes from the Vancouver riots:
The turning over of police vehicles was an early part of the unrest.
Police began to mobilize to begin clearing the streets and were met with resistance.
A man throws a chemical riot control agent back at police.
Smoke could be seen rising from the city into the night.
Gradually, the rioters turned their attention to breaking into local stores, including Hudson Bay and this Sears store.
Just after 11 p.m., in the aftermath of violence, the street was a deserted war zone. Very few businesses were left unscathed and sidewalks were littered with shattered glass.
One shoe store had virtually no merchandise left, while the London Drugs on Georgia and Granville, where alarms still blared, had its doors smashed in, and coat hangers and shoes strewn outside.
Unruly, booze-fuelled mobs also broke into Sears at Robson and Howe. One looter managed to break into Chapters bookstore, but apparently no one bothered entering.
Ugly brawls tinged with a racial element were seen breaking out on Granville Street as late as 11 p.m. and a police chopper circled the crowd overhead as police attempted to take control of the melee.
At a hastily-called press conference, Mayor Gregor Robertson said he was disappointed at tonight's "embarrassing" turn of events.
A hockey stick is used outside of the ice.
Fires spread to some buildings as well.
The streets were covered in debris and small fires, from cars to trash cans.
People lingered in the riot area well into the night.
Again, this was not all Vancouver Canucks fans, and the looting appeared to be the work of anarchists based on the local news reports. Many fans got caught up in the chaos and simply couldn't find a safe passage home, due to street closures and interruptions in mass transit service.
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