A mass brawl on Southend seafront saw several people sprayed with a noxious liquid.

Fighting broke out between two groups of yobs just after midnight on Sunday morning in Marine Parade.

Men and women were involved in the fracas which saw several people punched and others showered with a substance which left them with red, blotchy and stinging faces.

When police arrived, a group of men scattered and ran up Pier Hill into Alexandra Street, High Street and York Road.

Despite police chasing them on foot, officers were not able to catch the men or make any arrests.

Chief inspector Simon Anslow, district commander for Southend, said: “On Saturday night, we saw a real celebration in Southend with the Purple Flag festival, which was brilliantly attended and enjoyable for thousands of people.

“It greatly saddens me that three hours or so after the celebration, a group of individuals have seemingly attacked another group of individuals, causing so many people to be hurt.

“I take serious disorder in Southend really seriously and I would appeal for the help of anyone else who might have been about at that time to contact us so we can understand what happened and bring those responsible to justice.”

Several people were hurt during the violence.

A 39-year-old woman was in Marine Parade at about 12.10am when she was hit in the face, causing bruising and swelling.

At the same time in the street, a 41-year-old woman and two men, aged 42 and 43, suffered reddening and stinging to the face when they were sprayed with a liquid.

At about 1.30am outside Happidrome Arcade, also in Marine Parade, a 42-year-old man was approached by about eight white men.

He was punched in the face and the group of thugs ran off.

Police are also treating a further attack in Marine Parade as grievous bodily harm.

Sometime between 11pm on Saturday and 2.30am on Sunday, a 19-year-old from Southend suffered horrific facial injuries after he was knocked unconscious during an attack.

He decided to go home but went to Southend Hospital the following day after he struggled to cope with the pain in his face.

Doctors examined him and discovered he had a shattered cheekbone and a broken jaw, which will require metal plates to be fitted.

The Purple Flag festival, which was held to celebrate the work to ensure nightlife is safe for revellers, finished at about 9pm and there is no suggestion the attacks were linked to the event.

Anyone with information can call Essex Police on 101.