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Nearly 150 hurt in Vancouver riot following Stanley Cup loss

A car burns after the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Photo: Associated Press)
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Almost 150 people required hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested after rioters swept through downtown Vancouver following a Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in the decisive Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Vancouver Coastal Health spokeswoman Anna Marie D'Angelo said Thursday that three stabbing victims had been admitted and an unidentified man was in critical condition with head injuries after a fall from a viaduct.

She said most of the rioting victims were treated at St. Paul's Hospital, while about 40, including the stabbing cases and the head injury patient, were being treated at Vancouver General Hospital.

Rioting and looting left cars burned, stores in shambles and windows shattered over a roughly 10-block radius of the city's main shopping district.

Police Chief Jim Chu said nine officers were injured, including one who required 14 stitches after being hit with a thrown brick. Chu said some officers suffered bite marks. He said 15 cars were
burned, including two police cars.

He called those who incited the riot "criminals and anarchists" and said officers identified some in the crowd as the same people who smashed windows and caused trouble through the same streets the day after the 2010 Winter Olympics opened in 2010.

"These were people who came equipped with masks, goggles and gasoline," he said. "They had a plan."

Chu said those who stood by and filmed and cheered also bear some responsibility.

Assistant Fire Chief Wade Pierlot said people had to be rescued from rooftops and bathrooms where they had hidden for safety. He said some people moved burning dumpsters away from buildings to prevent further damage.

Mayor Gregor Robertson said "organized hoodlums bent on creating chaos incited the riot" and noted the city proved with the 2010 Winter Olympics that it could hold peaceful gatherings. A local business leader estimated more than 50 businesses were damaged.

"They were here to make trouble and they succeeded," Robertson said.

It was similar to the scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks' Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers. Anton said there was no loss of life or police brutality in this latest incident. She said dozens of volunteers patrolled the city's entertainment strip on Thursday, picking up debris and garbage.

One of the volunteers, Al Cyrenne, carried his broom downtown to clean up the damage. "I'm all choked up," he said, as he surveyed broken windows and debris on a downtown street.

"I can't believe the scene. Just talking about it brings me to tears. I can't believe the people of Vancouver would do this. It's just a few idiots."

While police said it was mostly young thugs responsible for the mayhem overnight, an equally young crew turned up in jeans and rubber gloves, some with Canucks jerseys, all carrying plastic garbage bags.

Dozens of remorseful and dismayed commuters crowded around the smashed and plywood covered display windows at the flagship Bay store, a historical building that was the first focus of rampaging looters Wednesday night.

Someone had tacked a rough, hand-painted sign that read: "On behalf of my team and my city, I am sorry." People waited in line to sign it.

 

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