Key Points:

    • A woman was allegedly attacked by a man armed with an axe at shopping centre.
    • The woman was inside a nail salon at Westfield in Narre Warren today.
    • She suffered upper-body injuries after she was struck with an axe multiple times.
    • Police said the cause of incident is unknown but the pair are known to each other.
    • A man has been arrested.

A woman has been allegedly attacked by a man armed with an axe at a shopping centre in front of horrified patrons.

She was reportedly inside a nail salon at Westfield Fountain Gate on Princes Highway in Narre Warren, south-east of Melbourne, this morning, according to Daily Mail.

The woman, aged in her 30s, suffered upper-body injuries after she was struck with the axe multiple times - as police arrested the man over the incident.

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A witness, known only as Trevor, said he believed the woman sought refuge in the nail salon in an effort to escape from her alleged attacker.

Areas of the shopping centre have been closed off. Photo/Estelle Griepink/Twitter
Areas of the shopping centre have been closed off. Photo/Estelle Griepink/Twitter

"I was locked in the Apple store," Trevor told radio station 3AW.

"When I was leaving they did have someone in custody in the back of a divi-van.

"There was a bit of pandemonium there until security and the other police got on site."

Westfield has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The woman has been taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.

The cause of the incident is being investigated but it's believed the pair are known to each other, police say.