A van struck a crowd in a tourist area in Barcelona, Spain. The van mounted the sidewalk and struck several people. There are reports of 13 fatalities and injuries. The perpetrators are reportedly armed and holed up in a bar.
The attack happened at the crowded and popular Las Ramblas street in Barcelona. The street has been cordoned off, local businesses have been closed, and the local Metro stations are closed.
The police said in a statement:
“There has just been a massive trampling on the Ramblas in Barcelona by a person with a van. There are injured.”
A local newspaper is reporting that the driver of the van ran away on foot after mowing down dozens of people.
Steven Turner, who works in the area, told the BBC:
“People in my office saw a van ramming into people on La Ramblas. I saw about three or four people lying on the ground. There are lots of ambulances and armed police with assault rifles around now.”
Now, there is a hostage situation going on at a Turkish restaurant in the area.
The attack happened at around 4:30 p.m. local time.
After seeing photos, does appear that the van hit people outside Barcelona's Kosher restaurant, Maccabi, but also in a much wider area.
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) August 17, 2017
Some 15 minutes later, the driver of the van fled the scene on foot. Armed men entered the restaurant soon after the attack took place.
Here is a picture of the police presence in the area:
— sommermädchen (@_corazondelsol) August 17, 2017
The police tweeted:
“If you are if you are in the area of Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona stay where you are until the police says that you can get (out).”
One witness Aamer Anwar said:
“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.”
Featured image via Twitter.