Riots in Vancouver after Canucks lose Stanley Cup

Print
Email
|

by KING 5 News, Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 16 at 10:42 AM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Hundreds of people took to the streets of Vancouver following the Canucks loss to the Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Wednesday, overturning cars, starting fires, and throwing objects at police in riot gear.

All bridges leading into downtown Vancouver have been shut down in an attempt to gain control over the city.

Vancouver Police tweeted, "So sad watching our Vancouver Police Department cars on fire and how quickly people can turn from law abiding to law breaking."

As soon as the game ended, a number of cars were overturned with large groups of people gathered around them, throwing trash and kicking the vehicles. A handful of cars were lit on fire.

Police in riot gear attempted to march through the crowds, however, rioters threw objects at them, forcing them back.

"It's terrible," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said, shaking his head. "This city and province has a lot to be proud of, the team we have and the guys we have in here. It's too bad."

Several people were clearly shown on camera provoking the police, refusing to move. Officers shot tear gas into the crowds and pleaded on loudspeakers for people to clear the area, but the crowds remained.

"This isn't what the Canucks are about," Chad McMillan, 31, a Vancouver resident and Canucks fan said. "This isn't what their fans are about. This isn't what this city is about."

A Vancouver reporter identified the area where the riots began as outside the Canada Post building in downtown Vancouver. However, they spread to various areas of downtown in a matter of hours.

Other fires, large and small, also broke out. Gargabe littered every inch of pavement where crowds gathered.

Aerial pictures of the scene showed several confrontations in which fans charged police or refused to move out of their way.

The chaos was reminiscent of a similar scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks' Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.

Patrick Fleming, 15, said a small group took out its anger on cars in the game's dying moments, flipping over two vehicles and setting one on fire.

Two other overturned vehicles were visible nearby as orange flames erupted from an exploding car, prompting several bystanders to duck down in alarm. Fans who were trying simply to get out of the danger zone found their visibility reduced by the thick black smoke.

Som Gosh, 16, said police blocked off the area and detained a number of people.

"I think it was a few people. ... Everybody else is watching," Gosh said.

Vancouver Police also tweeted thanks to those who supported them during the incident.

The Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7, 4-0, of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins.

Print
Email
|