Manchester Arndale was evacuated in the last hour, as hooded youths stormed through the shopping centre and smashed windows.
The fire alarm was sounded and a 'stampede' of people fled the building, as the shopping centre's security dealt with the rioters
Chris Collins, assistant manager of Shakeaway in Manchester Arndale, said: “We saw loads of people with masks on hiding their faces. They started throwing stuff around, and just as the other manager went to close the [Shakeaway shop] door they started kicking it in.
“We managed to lock it and we escaped through the basement exit and then the Manchester Arndale security managed to clear them out pretty quick.”
SHOCKED: Bystanders look on in shock at the remains of the Ugg store's doors
Bystander Sarah Royston, 22, said: “There was a stampede of people running through the Arndale. In the end it was all brought under control, but for a while it was scary.”
Manchester Arndale's front doors were smashed and police were quick to arrive on the scene.
Will De Nardo, MM’s music correspondent, was in Manchester Arndale for dinner with his girlfriend when the violence occurred.
He said: “The fire alarms in the Arndale went off and everyone started to run. There are loads of people with hoods on and empty bags were around on the streets – it seems they are anticipating something to happen.”
EMPTY: Manchester Arndale is vacant apart from police despite it only being 18:30
Our reporter Ben Lugg has witnessed police on foot chasing people with hoods and masks down Deansgate just moments ago.
So far the police have worked quickly to quell any violence.
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