DETECTIVES investigating a knife fight in which four bystanders were wounded said it would have been witnessed by up to 100 revellers - and they have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

The attack happened in the early hours of Sunday near Trades nightclub in Consett.

At one stage during the brawl, an 18-year-old woman and three men in their late-teens and early-20s, who had been watching events unfold, fell victim to the man with the knife.

The woman suffered slash and puncture wounds to her legs, hands and body.

A 19-year-old man was stabbed in the leg; a 23-year-old man's wrist was cut and a man in his early 20s was slashed in the right arm and cut about the stomach and hand.

The victims were all taken to Durham's University Hospital and have since been released after treatment, although some follow-up cosmetic surgery may be required.

A man in his late 30s, believed to have been involved in the initial fight, was arrested, questioned and has since been released on bail.

A blood-stained butterfly knife was recovered several hundred yards from the scene of the attack.

A second man being sought by police voluntarily surrendered himself at Consett police station and has since been interviewed.

Det Insp Simon Orton, of Consett CID, said scores of people were in the immediate area of the fight and said he believed many of them would have seen what happened.

"We need anyone who witnessed this frightening assault to come forward as a matter of urgency. We would also like to talk to people who were inside the Trades nightclub who may have witnessed an earlier disturbance between two men who were ejected from the club."

He said: "We are treating this very seriously. A flesh wound could easily have been a heart wound or fatality.

"It is distressing to see knives being carried and used in a situation where people are out to enjoy themselves."

Anyone with information is asked to call Consett police station on (01207) 504204.