Two women have been stabbed in a Marks & Spencer store as England’s high streets returned to business following the coronavirus lockdown.
A 57-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the incident, police said.
Officers and ambulance staff were sent to the scene in St James Street, Burnley, after 9.30am on Wednesday.
The victims’ injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening and both were taken to hospital.
A cordon was set up and a knife was recovered from the scene, police said.
Footage shows a large crowd standing nearby, though officers have urged the public to avoid the area.
Lancashire Police said no-one else is believed to have been involved in the incident, but has asked for people with information to come forward.
Marks & Spencer stores could stay open during the lockdown. Crowds have been pictured returning to high streets as non-essential shops were allowed to reopen on “Wild Wednesday” morning.
Superintendent Stasia Osiowy said: “We recognise that this incident will have caused a great deal of concern in the community and I would like to reassure people that we have a dedicated team of officers and staff carrying out enquiries and a number of extra patrols in the town centre as reassurance.
“We have arrested a man and we will be speaking to him in due course as part of our on-going investigation.
“This is not being treated as a terrorism incident but due to some comments made at the scene counter terrorism detectives will be leading on the investigation.
“At this time we are keeping an open mind as to motivation but what I can say is that we are considering the mental health background of the man we have arrested.
“I would like to appeal to members of the public who may have seen or filmed this morning’s incident, or who have information which could assist, to get in touch with us.
“I would like to thank those members of the public who acted very quickly, and without regard to their own safety, this morning in order to detain the attacker. Without their brave actions this incident, while serious, could have been so much worse.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 0313 of 2 December 2020.
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