Footage and photos captured by terrified onlookers paint a confronting picture of the terror on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas after a van mounted the pavement and ploughed into crowds on the busy tourist avenue.
At least 13 people are dead and more than 100 injured following the incident on Thursday afternoon (local time), with local police arresting one man in relation to the attack and Islamic State claiming responsibility for the violence.
Photos show the white van with its smashed front abandoned in the middle of the Las Ramblas shopping and dining strip, as panicked bystanders attempt to get away from the scene.
Las Ramblas boulevard runs 1.2km through the heart of the Spanish city, from Catalonia Square to the seaside Christopher Columbus monument, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists a year thanks to its market stalls, restaurants, shops and bars.
Esta es la furgoneta utilizada en el atropello múltiple. El conductor ha huido a pie.
La foto la he recortado porque se veía una víctima. pic.twitter.com/oG8Q7WHSEe
— Xavier Aldekoa (@xavieraldekoa) August 17, 2017
Total panic – we are all getting pushed back- la Ramblas pic.twitter.com/1MwYLfFZJc
— Aamer Anwar (@AamerAnwar) August 17, 2017
One onlooker who was walking down the street at the time of the attack told Sky News: “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.”
Estampida ahora mismo en El Corte Inglés de Plaza Catalunya en Barcelona pic.twitter.com/72LLRmJjRk
— Jordi Perez Colome (@jordipc) August 17, 2017
Video taken by those at the scene shows dozens of people scattered around the popular tourism hub, many with broken limbs and howling in agony as local authorities attempt to evacuate the area.
Warning: extremely graphic content
This is utterly devastating and our thoughts are with the victims, the responders and the medical professionals attending this terrorist act that is becoming all too familiar on our streets! We started a campaign years ago for AEDs and CPR training and now, through acts like these we are evolving to see civilians act as first responders to help stop the bleeding. Evolution through necessity! #barcelona #firstresponder #tccc #tacmed #paramedic #trauma #training @northamericanrescue @skinny_medic @corpsman @justrossome
A post shared by totem (@totem_medical) on
A video filmed from an apartment above the street shows police scouring the city’s small lane ways for the attacker, who has since been named as Moroccan-born Driss Oukabir. He has been arrested and detained by authorities along with another unidentified man.
But the photos also show a more heartwarming image of locals and tourists working together to evacuate the area.
Those on social media are also the platform to search for loved ones missing following the attack, as panicked families of the many travellers visiting the Spanish beach town in summer seek to know if they’re safe.
Facebook activated its safety check feature, allowing those in the area to publicly mark themselves as safe or to offer shelter and refuge to those in need.
If someone saw this girl please contact @italyxdolans !
— MagconItalyUpdates (@MAGCONlTALIA) August 17, 2017