A van crashed into pedestrians Thursday in the popular Las Ramblas neighborhood of central Barcelona, Spain. Police have confirmed that the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack. In a press conference documented by AP, police stated that one person has died, and 32 have been injured. The number of fatalities is likely to rise.
Cadena SER Radio, a local radio station, reported up to 13 deaths. Additionally, local media are reporting that two armed men are holed up in a nearby Turkish restaurant, though this has yet to be confirmed.
The driver of the van survived and reportedly managed to escape the scene after the vehicle crashed into a newspaper kiosk.
According to The Guardian, police have ordered people around the area of the crash to remain indoors. They are urging people to attempt to contact loved ones through social media to "avoid the collapse of phone lines." Police have also asked for all metro stations to be shut down.
The Spanish police are encouraging people to not share images and videos of the injured on social media, out of respect for the families.
🚩Por respeto a las víctimas y a sus familias, por favor, NO compartas imágenes de heridos en atropello de #Ramblas de Barcelona— Policía Nacional (@policia) August 17, 2017
Steven Turner, who works in the area, was a witness. "People in my office saw a van ramming into people on La Ramblas," Turner told the BBC. "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."