12/26/2011 05:06 EST | Updated 02/25/2012 05:12 EST

Pepper spray at Winnipeg mall sends 3 to hospital

Winnipeg police are investigating after someone used pepper spray in the city's largest mall, sending three people to hospital.

The incident took place at Polo Park at around 2:30 p.m. CT, during one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

According to witnesses, the pepper spray was used after an argument erupted between two people — one armed with a knife.

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Police Service said hundreds of people were affected by the spray and three bystanders were sent to hospital in stable condition.

The fire department was ventilating the area of the mall where the incident occurred, Const. Jason Michalyshen said.

Police closed off part of the building temporarily and were searching for suspects. No arrests have been made.

A similar incident took place south of the border in November. Twenty people were injured at a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart on Black Friday when a woman used pepper spray against other shoppers.