Calgary·Video

Chaos erupts as hundreds of shoppers rush doors of new grocery store

What started as a celebration quickly devolved into a chaotic scene on Friday, as hundreds of shoppers rushed the doors of a new grocery store in northeast Calgary — until police stepped in to send people home.

New Asian Food Centre was offering free pressure cooker to first 100 shoppers

Chaos erupts at new grocery store opening in northeast Calgary

CBC News Calgary

9 months ago
1:28
Calgary police were forced to shut down the grand opening of the Asian Food Centre after some in the gathered crowd started pushing their way in. 1:28

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE | See hundreds of shoppers attempt to rush the doors of a new northeast grocery store in footage recorded by CBC News.


What started as a celebration quickly devolved into a chaotic scene on Friday, as hundreds of shoppers rushed the doors of a new grocery store in northeast Calgary — until police stepped in to send people home.

Shoppers rushed the doors at the new Asian Food Centre in Saddle Ridge, trying to take advantage of a special offer — a free pressure cooker for the first 100 people to enter.

Large crowds gathered outside of the new Asian Food Centre in Saddle Ridge on Friday, looking to take advantage of a special offer. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Karanjot Bal was in line waiting to enter the store when things started to get out of control.

"They all crowded the door and tried to pile themselves in, like pushing and shoving," Bal said. "No one was social distancing either, not even in the line to begin with."

Signs posted outside requested shoppers practice physical distancing, but Jasneet Bal said it just wasn't possible given the crowd's size.

'This is definitely not safe,' says witness as mayhem erupts at the Asian Food Centre's grand opening

CBC News Calgary

9 months ago
0:35
Jasneet Bal was in line when things started to go wrong, including elderly people being pushed over in a mad rush to get inside. 0:35

"As soon as people started crowding in, we were like, 'Oh no, this is definitely not safe,'" Jasneet said. 

"People were pushing up against you, there was a lot of elderly people here that were getting pushed over and nobody was helping them up and it got to the point where it's like, OK, cops are definitely needed. We need to shut this place down."

Calgary police arrived at the scene and started sending shoppers home, citing public safety. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Calgary police did eventually arrive at the store and sent shoppers home, citing public safety.

Police said the store owner was compliant and the location would remain closed for the rest of the day.

The Asian Food Centre is located in the Savanna Bazaar, an open-air market in northeast Calgary. The Asian Food Centre chain of stores offers groceries along with other kitchen and household products.

With files from Dan McGarvey

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