A MAN was “stabbed in the chest” near a petrol station during a gang robbery.

The victim was attacked near the Jet Petrol Station, High Street, Canvey just before 10pm on Wednesday.

The gang approached the victim and demanded he hand over his phone before attacking him.

He is recovering in hospital after suffering serious injuries.

Jazz Burrows, 25, who works at a petrol station nearby, said: “Someone was stabbed in the chest across the road from our business.

“Forensics were there and apparently they struggled to find the victim.

“Police told us that someone was stabbed.

“It is scary to think that this is happening near where I work.”

Essex Police did not confirm the nature of the injuries but confirmed the force was investigating a serious attack on the island.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Officers were called to Canvey High Street after reports of an assault.

“The victim, aged in his 20s, was approached by several cars just after 9.50pm.

“The men inside the car asked for his phone and, when he refused, a group of men exited the vehicles and he was attacked.

“The victim remains in hospital with serious injuries but is in a stable condition.

“Our enquiries are continuing, but we believe this may have been a targeted incident.”

Island councillors sent well wishes to the victim.

Grace Watson, Canvey Independent councillor for Canvey North said she is totally shocked.

She said: “I just feel like there are no words for what has happened.

“There is no need for this sort of thing to happen at all.

“I think it is more upsetting and noticeable because we are a small town.

“I hope the man is okay and I feel for him and his family.

“I also hope the police catch who is responsible very soon.”

John Payne, fellow Canvey Independent councillor said it is a sad situation.

He said: “I think it’s sad that these people get to this level of desperation to do something like this.

“It does seem to be happening quite a lot.

“I don’t think it is the population of Canvey doing these things, I think it comes from off the island.

“We have to hope that there is some CCTV and the public can help to identify the people who are behind this incident. It does paint a bad picture of Canvey but these things do happen everywhere.”

Anyone with information about the alleged stabbing is asked to call Essex Police on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.