At least 13 people are dead after a terrorist rammed a van into pedestrians on street in central Barcelona Thursday. The van’s occupant then abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene by foot. El Pais reports that 2 armed perpetrators entered a restaurant following the crash. The car jumped the sidewalk and struck people on La Rambla boulevard where it intersects with Plaza de Catalunya. An RTVE photograph showed three people lying on the ground in the street Thursday. Witnesses told that they heard the crash and then screams. “All of a sudden I heard a crashing noise, and the whole street just started to run screaming” Aamer Anwar said. “There has just been a massive trampling on the Ramblas in Barcelona by a person with a van. There are injured” Catalunya emergency services tweeted today. Officials urged residents to avoid area so as not to hinder emergency services response to the incident. “If you are in the area of Placa Catalunya stay inside where you are until the police say you can leave” officials told.
— Bradley Barber (@Bradley_Barber) August 17, 2017
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey responded to the incident telling “In contact with all administrations. Priority: to take care of the wounded in Las Ramblas and to facilitate the work of the Security Forces.”
The United States Department of State issued a warning on the attack Thursday. “US citizens in Barcelona are urged to avoid the areas and to follow local media and other information sources for additional guidance.” It urged American citizens to report their whereabouts to friends and family. “If you are a US citizen in Barcelona and you are safe, please let family and friends know, including by updating your status on social media.” Las Ramblas cuts through center of Barcelona and is popular among tourists.