A 57-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two women were stabbed inside Marks and Spencer.

Shoppers and staff stopped the man and held him until police arrived after the incident at 9.25am on Wednesday inside the high street store in Burnley town centre.

The victims were a member of staff at the store aged in her 40s and a shopper aged in her 60s.

They were taken to hospital with serious stab wounds which are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police said the incident was isolated and dismissed rumours circulating on social media it was terror-related.

Lancashire Telegraph:

A cordon was put in place on St James Street and people were asked to avoid the area.

Police said patrols would remain in the town centre throughout the day as a reassurance to shoppers and workers, and anyone with information or concerns could approach an officer.

LIVE UPDATES: Police called to 'incident at Marks and Spencer' after stabbing

A spokesperson for the police said: "We were called at about 9.30am on Wednesday to a report of a stabbing inside the Marks and Spencer store in Burnley. 

"Two women received injuries which are thankfully not thought to be life threatening at this time.

"They have been taken to hospital for treatment.

"Police officers were quickly on the scene and a 57-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.

"A knife has been recovered.

"Police enquiries are ongoing but at this stage this is believed to be an isolated incident.

"Patrols will remain in the area as reassurance through the day. Anyone with information or concerns can approach an officer.

"Nobody else is thought to be involved.

"A cordon is in place and we would ask people to avoid the area."

A spokesperson from Burnley Council said: "Frightening incident in Burnley town centre this morning which was dealt with quickly and effectively by our brave police officers.

"Police have confirmed they believe this was an isolated incident.

"Our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery go to those injured."

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.”

Marks and Spencer also released a statement thanking the emergency services for their response.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful for the emergency services that responded to this incident and the two people who were injured are now in good care.

"We are also supporting the police with their investigation.

"The store is currently closed and our focus is on ensuring that our colleagues in Burnley receive all the support they need.”

Anyone with information, particularly video footage is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 0313 of December 2, 2020.