Van ploughs into crowds at popular Barcelona tourist spot

Van ploughs into crowds at popular Barcelona tourist spot

News reports have emerged telling of an incident in the tourist area of Ramblas in Barcelona, after a van was said to have crashed into crowds.

It is believed that multiple people are dead in what police have called a "massive crash", and members of the public are being told to avoid the Plaça Catalunya area. Police are investigating the attack as related to terror. The driver of the van has not yet been arrested.

Reuters has reported that emergency services asked for several local metro and rail stations to be closed in the wake of the incident, while a witness 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 laying on the ground.

"There are lots of ambulances and armed police with assault rifles around now.

"About five minutes later I heard lots of screams from the crowd and then they dispersed."

Barcelona Crash Police Car at the scene Credit: Sky News

Meanwhile, the Spanish Prime Minister has said that the priority now is to care for those who have been injured in the crash, while the Guardian has been reported that the incident is currently being treated as a terrorist attack. The newspaper reports that the driver of the van appeared to have fled the scene after the crash.

Aamer Anwar described the scene to Sky News thus;

"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.

"Police officers who got there just started screaming at people to move back, move back."

Scene at Barecelona Van Crash Credit: Sky News

Now, The Ministry of the Interior in Spain wrote on Twitter,“There has just been a massive crash on the Ramblas in Barcelona by a person with a van. There are injured.”, reports the Guardian.

Official reports have not yet confirmed the number of injured individuals, or any fatalities as a result of the attack, but images on social media purport to show bodies on the pavement.

The Daily Mail reports another witness as telling 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.

"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."

The situation is currently ongoing, with the death count unstable. Once a solid figure is known, more will follow.