Multiple people have been injured after a vehicle was driven into a crowd of about 50 people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Manhattan, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said.

The incident happened after 4.08pm (21.08 Irish time) at the corner of 39th Street and Third Avenue, police said.

None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening and the vehicle involved remained at the scene, police said.

Local media reports said six people were struck, but it was unclear as to how many people were taken to the hospital.

Police advised people to avoid the area following the collision.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department told AFP that the vehicle hit "multiple" people in Manhattan's Murray Hill area.

"An unknown number of people have been injured. They have been taken to various hospitals. It is not thought that any of the injuries are life-threatening," he said,

The spokesman added that the driver, a woman, had stayed at the scene and was in custody.

The spokesman said it was "too early to tell" whether it was intentional or a traffic accident, and it is not yet known whether the driver will face charges.

Eyewitnesses said they saw at least six people injured.

A protester shouts at NYPD officers after a car struck multiple people

They were protesting against the detention of immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The protesters were marching in support of detainees on hunger strike.

Local media initially reported that the protest had been a Black Lives Matter demonstration. ABC News said between 40 and 50 protesters were in the area at the time.

The channel said the demonstration had spilled onto the street and that protesters had surrounded a car. The car then drove into the protesters, injuring at least six of them, ABC added.

The news channel said a woman was driving and she was being questioned by police.

An eyewitness told NBC that the car was a navy BMW with two women, who were white, sitting in the front seats.