A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “We were called at 2.56pm today by a member of the public. Police deployed immediately to the scene near the junction of Southleigh and Eastleigh Road, and arrested a man. He has been taken into custody.
“The children - whose ages are yet to be confirmed - have been taken to hospital; one to Southampton General Hospital, and the other to Queen Alexandra Hospital, at Cosham.
“We are yet to establish details of the arrested man. No-one else is being sought in connection with this incident at this time.”
An eyewitness said: “I was walking along Horndean Road at 3.30pm, just as the children were coming out of St James Primary School and Warblington School.
“There was a very loud helicopter circling above and all the mums and children were wondering what was going on.
“The police had put up a cordon stopping anyone going into Southleigh Road. There were lots of police cars and an ambulance.
“I just can’t believe what’s happened. It’s horrific. And in a small town like Emsworth which is usually so quiet. It’s awful.
“I saw a few young girls on the side of the road very upset.”
Hampshire Constabulary said: “Police are currently speaking to witnesses, and extra officers will be patrolling around the area this evening to provide reassurance.
“We are in the very early stages of the investigation and are piecing together exactly what has happened, and as soon as we know more confirmed information we will release further details.
“A police cordon is in place around the scene of the incident and a road closure is on at the Horndean Road end to allow police vehicles access to the scene.
“Anyone who witnessed this incident or who has information which may help this inquiry should ring 101.”
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