Masked men with sledgehammers reportedly smashed through the window of a bureau de change during an attempted robbery on travel agency in Manchester.

Two men wearing balaclavas were seen storming into the Thomas Cook shop at the north Manchester retail park at around 5pm yesterday evening.

An eyewitness said he then saw the duo smash through the Travel Money window with sledgehammers as a terrified shop worker sat behind it.

The pair left empty-handed when police and security staff were alerted.

Eye witness Jordan Meakin told the Manchester Evening News: “We were parked just outside when we saw two men wearing balaclavas run in with sledgehammers.

“They were smashing windows of the travel money section. Some customers were in there, I saw two women.

“They were shouting and screaming and the women were crying. Then six or seven police officers were scrambled to the scene. There was a guy holding the door open, then police ran over.”

He said he saw the pair run away down an alleyway, and police chased after them.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “We can confirm that an attempted robbery took place at our Thomas Cook store in Manchester.

“All persons present during the incident are safe and unharmed. The safety of our staff and customers remains our priority and we are working with the police to assist them with their investigation.”