A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after an apparent acid attack at a major London shopping centre.
The teenage was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm following the incident which took place on Saturday evening at the Stratford shopping mall, east London, close to the London Olympic stadium.
The incident is the latest in a growing number of such attacks, especially in the capital, which has led to calls for tougher sentencing.
Witnesses described scenes of panic as the frightening incident unfolded. One person was shouting out in pain ‘I can’t see, I can’t see,’ according to eyewitnesses.
Another was heard to shout out ‘it’s an acid attack’.
Dramatic images posted on social media showed police treating victims in the aftermath of the attack.
Three of those injured were taken to hospital.
The incident happened following an ‘altercation’ between two groups of youths at the shopping centre.
‘During this incident a noxious substance was thrown. When the liquid was thrown, both groups ran from the scene,’ said Scotland Yard.
‘A number of people have been reported injured at different locations – believed to be six people. We await further details.’
Police added: ‘One male has been arrested on suspicion of GBH. Officers remain on scene.’
London Ambulance crews also attended the scene.
Police said the attack took place around 8pm.
Witnesses said the incident led to scenes of panic among shoppers at the popular mall.
One witness Zak Abdi, told Mirror Online: ‘I was about to leave the station and a few guys were scattering, and there were guys on the floor in agony, with their friends all around them.’
He said he heard one man shouting ‘I can’t see, I can’t see’ after being splashed in the face.
‘Everyone was just jumping out of the way, trying to escape the whole thing. It was a scary moment for everyone,’ he added.
Another witness, Imran Tahir Rizvi, said he overheard the friends of one victim shouting about an ‘acid attack’ and saw a young man lying on the floor.
Yet another bystander, a Burger King worker, said one victim ran into the fast food restaurant to wash ‘acid’ off his face.
‘There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them,’ the eyewitness told the BBC.
Paul Gibson, London ambulance assistant director of operations, said: ‘We treated six patients in total and took three to London hospitals.’
Police said all those injured were male.
This is the latest in a growing number of acid attacks in the UK, which has alsoled to calls for the government to place greater restrictions on the sale of such substances.