Three people were injured, one of them critically, when a panicked horse ran amok through the streets of a southeast China town.

The animal was eventually cornered and shot dead, police in She county, Anhui province, said on social media.

In video footage released by news website Thepaper.cn, a white horse is seen galloping along what appears to be a pedestrianised street lined with shops. Two women can be seen walking about 30m ahead of the animal and are oblivious to its presence until it crashes into them, sending one of them flying.

The incident happened at about 2.40pm on Zhonghe Street. Photo / Supplied
The incident happened at about 2.40pm on Zhonghe Street. Photo / Supplied

The police statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, said the incident happened at about 2.40pm on Zhonghe Street. It did not give any details of the three people hurt except to say they were being treated in hospital and that one of them was in a critical condition.

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A second video clip, published on Btime.com, a website owned by the state-run Beijing Media Network, shows the horse's final moments after police managed to corral it in a dead-end street and block its escape route with one of their vehicles.

A police officer can be seen firing multiple times at the animal.

The statement did not say why it was not possible to subdue the horse, but said its owner had been detained and was being questioned about the incident.

The animal was used in wedding ceremonies, the statement quoted the owner as saying, without providing any further details.

- South China Morning Post