NEW YORK (AP) _ Eight people were shot and others were stabbed and trampled early Sunday when fighting broke out inside a nightclub above a Times Square arcade, police said.

A man who was shot in the chest and a woman shot in the stomach appeared to be the most seriously injured. Both were in critical condition Sunday, said Sgt. Dennis Ferber, a police spokesman.

Three people were hospitalized with stab wounds, and at least two people were trampled by frantic clubgoers trying to escape the fighting and gunfire, police said. Their conditions and the conditions of the others shot were not immediately known, but police said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Club security guard Omar Leger said he was in a bathroom when he heard gunshots about 2:40 a.m., and emerged to see people running toward the exits. He said clubgoers were falling and tripping over each other as they scrambled to get out.

``People were getting trampled,'' said Leger, who estimated that as many as 350 people were inside the Broadway City Arcade's club, on 42nd Street, a busy tourist area.

``Sometimes we have a couple of fights, but nothing like this,'' he said.

Police were investigating the cause of the brawl and talking to three people arrested on weapons charges at a nearby subway station shortly after the fight.

A man who answered the phone at the arcade early Sunday declined to comment.