Suspected terrorists crashed van into crowds of shoppers and tourists in Las Ramblas
13 dead and dozens hurt as van drives into crowds of people in Barcelona amid reports of gunshots nearby
Harrowing footage shows dozens of bodies lying on the sidewalk as armed police rushed to secure the area
One suspect, Driss Oukabir, the man who rented the van, in custody after police went in search of two men who escaped into a restaurant
One suspect is reported to have been killed after a shootout with police hours after the initial van attack
Emergency services rushed to the scene near the Las Ramblas as bodies lay strewn on pavement
People are urged to stay away from the popular tourist area
The scene of carnage in Barcelona after a van was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas in the heart of the city. Thirteen people have been killed and dozens have been injured
There was panic on the streets of Barcelona today as men suspected of being terrorists ploughed into crowds in Barcelona’s tourist area. Witnesses said swarms of people were running for their lives with parents desperately screaming out for their children.
At least 13 people were reportedly, killed and dozens injured tourists and shoppers strewn on the sidewalk on a busy tourist street.
Pictures and video emerging from the scene show armed police and paramedics rushing around Las Ramblas, a busy promenade in the centre of the city, as victims lie hurt in the street.
Local media are reporting that Driss Oukabir, named earlier by police as a suspect, has been arrested. Another suspect has been killed after a shootout on the outskirts of the city with police.
It remains unclear how many attackers were involved in the incident, which is being treated by police as a terror attack.
Horrifying footage recorded at the scene shows dozens of victims lying injured on the pavement. Police have confirmed that at least 64 people are hurt, with Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise because of the ‘very serious’ wounds to victims.
The civil guard has said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada.
A second van, believed used as a getaway vehicle, was found parked in the town of Vic some 50 miles north of Barcelona, police said.
Driss Oukabir [photo], has been arrested by police. The Guardia Civil previously said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada
Heavily armed police swarm the area, searching for the attackers. Witnesses said the area was swamped with anti-terror cops and plain clothed officers ‘within 30 seconds’
Injured woman receives treatment on the sidewalk from paramedics
Police carry an injured woman from the scene of Thursday’s terror attack in the Catalan capital
Police have confirmed that at least 52 people are injured, with Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise because of the ‘very serious’ wounds to victims.
Horror in the streets of Barcelona as bodies of victims lie in the street after the van attack in Barcelona Armed police on the streets of Barcelona after truck crashed into crowd
Heavy Guardia Civil and armed policemen presence in a cordoned-off area after a van ploughed into a crowd in Barcelona
Injured man lying on the street in Barcelona after the van ploughed into pedestrians along Las Ramblas
[L-R]: Injured people are treated at the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after Thursday’s attack. Right: People trapped in a shop under police guard
People gather round to aid a victim after the van drove into a crowd in Barcelona, Thursday
A scene of disbelief and devastation as people on the sidewalk in Barcelona after a van ploughed through pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Aug 17
Victims are helped to safety in Barcelona, Thursday
People taking refuge in a restaurant near Las Ramblas in Barcelona in the confusion of today’s attack
A man sits with his head in his hands after the terror attack in Barcelona’s tourist district, Thursday
It was found parked in the town of Vic some 50 miles north of Barcelona and officers believe that a second person involved in today’s attack used it to get away from the Catalan capital.
Spanish media had also reported that two armed men were holed up in a bar in downtown Barcelona and reported gunfire in the area but police later dismissed those reports.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing people running away and screaming after the terror attack happened.
A witness called Angel said he had seen the attacker close up and described him as ‘a young man, maximum 25 years old, chestnut brown hair and skinny.’
Others described him as about 5ft 6in tall and wearing a blue and white striped top.
Another witness, Isaac, said: ‘The person was accelerating. He mounted the pavement to run people over. We saw the van passing by running people over at 50 miles an hour. It was as if it was driving through a field of corn.’
A taxi driver told Catalan TV station TV3: ‘The van was doing zigzags knocking over everyone he could. It was shocking.’
Emergency and rescue personnel stretcher out the injured from a mall in a cordoned off area
Police contain the crime the scene in Barcelona.
Police were reported to have found a Spanish passport inside the van.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with all emergency services and stressed the priority is to help the injured.
Armed police were also seen rushing into the area while emergency services asked to close Metro and train stations in the city.
One witness told Sky News: ‘It was quite terrifying. All of a sudden scores of people ran towards us, hysterical, children hysterical… first of all they said someone had been shot.
‘All of a sudden a second wave of people came down the street, we just ran, I lost my husband in the melee. The shops went into lockdown mode.’
She added: ‘We really had no idea what was going on other than that we needed to get ourselves out of there very quickly… there was just hundreds of people running away very quickly.’
Another said: ‘We were just told to run, it must have been quite close because… there was an immediate stampede to run away. We were just a minute away from it.’
The local police force was said to be evacuating the area including the nearby main square the Plaza de Catalunya.
El Periodico said the CIA had warned local police two months ago that La Rambla could be the scene of a terrorist attack.
‘Huge collision on Las Ramblas in Barcelona by an individual driving a van, many injuries,’ a statement from Catalan police said.
EMTs services arrive on the scene of the dead and injured on the sidewalks
‘All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.
‘Police were very, very quickly there, police officers with guns, batons, everywhere. Then the whole street started getting pushed back,’ He said.
He added: ‘Police officers who got there just started screaming at people to move back, move back.
‘One of the shopkeepers tried to speak to him. He said he saw five or six people seriously injured on the ground, a van had driven into people.
‘And literally within probably 30 seconds, police vans, ambulances, police officers with guns, were piling out and we were being sectioned off and then being pushed rapidly back down Ramblas.’
Injured victim is stretched out of a mall by medical staff in a cordoned-off area
Special forces work near Plaza Catalonia following the incident
Tom Gueller, who lives on an adjoining road, was forced to flee the scene when he saw the van hurtling through the crowds.
‘I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that.
‘I ran away, I mean I live near, I had to run back about 50 metres or so and go up to my flat and obviously see what’s happening on the road from my balcony.’
Asked about the van, he said: ‘It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas.’
Gueller said many of the shops had pulled their shutters down and armed police were positioned on street corners, with cordons in place on the road.
Weeping woman being comforted led away as crowds flee from the scene
Traumatized holiday shoppers leave the area after the devastating attack
Time to go: People walk away from Las Ramblas after the attack earlier today, with one shopper showing off the effects
Authorities in the area have warned people to stay away from the area.
The incident has taken place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe’s top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year.