A van has ploughed into crowds in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas tourist area. Spanish police say several people have been injured in a “massive crash”, while emergency services are urging people to stay away from the area around Plaça de Catalunya.
Reports from the scene say people are taking cover in nearby shops and cafes.
Reuters news agency reports that emergency services have requested the closure of local metro and train stations.
El Pais newspaper said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after mowing down dozens of people.
Steven Turner, who works in the area, told the BBC: “People in my office saw a van ramming into people on Las Ramblas.
“I saw about three or four people lying on the ground.”
“There are lots of ambulances and armed police with assault rifles around now.”
Details of this incident are still unclear, but vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in a series of attacks across Europe since July last year.
Aamer Anwar said he was walking down Las Ramblas, which was “jam-packed” with tourists.
“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,” he told Sky News.
“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.”
- Central boulevard that runs 1.2km (0.75 miles) through the centre of Barcelona
- Runs from the city’s Plaça de Catalunya (Catalonia Square) to the Christopher Columbus monument at the seafront.
- Popular with tourists because of its market stalls, bars and restaurants
- Barcelona city council restricted traffic flow because of heavy pedestrian use of the street