|The police attending to one of the injured pedestrians.
Photo Credit: TELEGRAPH
At least 13 people have died and 50 have been injured after a white van ploughed into a crowd of people in Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, in what Catalan police say is a potentially ongoing terrorist attack.
A government official confirmed the latest death tolls from the attack on an area popular with tourists following various reports on the number of casualties.
Guardian said two armed men were also reported to have entered a restaurant near the site of the crash. Catalan police have dismissed reports of hostages being held up in a bar in the city centre.
Police also confirmed they have arrested a man they are treating as a suspect in the attack.
A second van linked to the attack has been found in the small town of Vic about 69 kilometres away from Barcelona, authorities have said.
Police say they have activated the protocols for a terror attack.
The El Pais newspaper reported that the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot and that police are still looking for a man about 1.70 metres tall, wearing a white and blue stripped shirt.
The van entered the pedestrian street from Placa de Catalunya and reportedly zigzagged across the street before crashing into a kiosk on La Rambla.
Emergency services are urging people to avoid the area and requested the closure of nearby train and metro stations.
Ambulances and bomb disposal crews have gathered en masse at the scene.
Ethan Spidey, 25, told The Independent there was a “stampede” as tourists and locals sprinted away from the scene of the attack.
He said: “I was with my boyfriend just about to cross Las Ramblas and all of a sudden there was an immediate stampede and police shouting at people to run.
“I saw a young child knocked over and picked them up but everyone was just running.
“There was a stampede in the streets alongside Las Ramblas as everyone tried to run away. People were running into shops and taking refuge in cafes. There was a lot of screaming.”
Daniela Goicoechea, who was walking along La Rambla with three children aged one, two and five, told The Independent: “People started running but we didn’t know what was happening. There was a lot of people running. Then policemen began chasing people. We were lost, we ran with three babies and hid in a cafe nearby.”
Videos posted on social media shows dozens of people, seemingly injured, lying on the floor being cared for by emergency services.
Around them, the boulevard was deserted, covered in rubbish and abandoned objects including hats, flip-flops, bags and a pram.
Hospitals in Barcelona have called for blood donations following the attack to avoid potential shortages.
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