Four people are believed to have died while dozens sustained injuries after a van in Barcelona rammed into pedestrians after which two men stormed out and entered a restaurant with guns.
Footages emerging from the scene show police cars and ambulances near the Las Ramblas tourist district, a busy tree-lined promenade in the centre of the city. Horrifying footage shows dozens of victims lying injured on the floor.
According to reports, the van hit pedestrians before gunmen ran into a nearby restaurant to hold diners hostage. Witnesses reported seeing people running away and screaming after the incident happened. Gunfire was heard at the Corte Ingles store in the area after police announced a “massive crash”.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he is in contact with all emergency services and said the priority is to help the injured. Armed police have been seen rushing into the area. They are said to be evacuating the area including the nearby main square the Plaza de Catalunya. Meanwhile, emergency services have 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.”
Barcelona-based newspaper, El Peridico said the CIA had warned local police two months ago that La Rambla could be the scene of a terrorist attack.
Authorities in the area have warned people from visiting the busy tourist hotspot. A police spokesman did not confirm whether the crash was being treated as a terrorist attack.
More photos and a video below.