DRAMATIC footage shows the moment cops confronted gangs of youths fighting at Westfield shopping centre forcing shoppers to flee the Boxing Day sales.
A video posted on social media shows police and security guards in hi-vis jackets approaching the hooded yobs – before seven were arrested.
The mob – apparently made up of separate rival groups – can be seen shouting in the officers faces as they are forced backwards inside the lobby at Stratford, East London.
A second clip shows more cops charging into the shopping centre as back-up as the drama unfolded just after 2.30pm on Boxing Day.
Shoppers described fleeing in panic as officers were called to deal with the disorder on the ground floor, while pictures showed people being escorted from the mall, near the Olympic Park.
Social media users who were inside have spoken of their fear after watching children being "trampled on" during the "terrifying experience".
One Twitter user said: "Not entirely sure what happened at Westfield, whether it was a prank or gang fight but all I know is that was the most terrifying experience of my life.
"All I saw was a stampede of screaming people coming towards me and poor kids being trampled on.
"Not f*****g cool at all."
Others suggested the disturbance had been the result of a "gang fight".
They wrote: "Please avoid Westfield Stratford shopping centre big chaos going on because of gang fight."
Meanwhile others shared pictures from outside showing shoppers waiting outside in the cold and warning people they weren't being allowed in.
One said: "Westfield Stratford shambles …queues to get into the shopping centre…no shoppers allowed."
Another tweeted: "Robberies, police, fights, hours of queues for a few pounds off".
A Met Police spokesman said: "Police were called to reports of disturbances at Westfield Stratford City.
"Officers attended and additional high-visibility patrols were deployed, and groups causing the disorder were dispersed."
Seven people were arrested for a "variety of offences", while several knives were recovered.
Two police officers were treated in hospital for minor injuries suffered during the arrests.
A Section 60 order was placed on the shopping centre covering a 500-metre radius until 10.30pm, the Newham Borough arm of the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.
The order gives officers extra powers in the designated area to prevent the occurrence of further disruption.
Additional patrols were sent to the area, the force added.
Westfield Stratford described the incident as a "minor disturbance" and said that the centre was not evacuated and continued trading normally.
It came before scenes of panic unfolded in London's mobbed Oxford Street this evening as hundreds of Boxing Day shoppers fled in terror amid reports a gun had been fired.
The Met Police told the Sun Online that officers had responded to reports of "gunshots" which later turned out to be false.
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