The Associated Press reported that one suspect has been arrested, according to Spanish public broadcaster RTVE.
Barcelona officials said at least 13 have been killed and another 50 injured in the attack. Catalonia’s regional interior chief Joaquim Forn told the AP, “Unfortunately the number of fatalities will likely rise.”
As many as four armed men reportedly ran from the scene, leaving a rented white van at the scene, and into a nearby restaurant, where witnesses said they heard gunfire.
The AP said the suspects were “holed up in a bar.” A witness in a restaurant overlooking the area said to MSNBC that she had seen some hostages released.
According to El Pais in Spain, authorities are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.
Spanish police called the incident a “massive crash,” and urge people to stay away from the are around Placa Catalunya, one of the most visited sites in Barcelona.
Downtown areas have been evacuated, and subway stops near the area are closed.
At least a dozen emergency response teams are treating the injured. Reports on social media show many people on the ground.
Las Ramblas is a pedestrian mall that stretches about 3/4 of a mile through the city, connecting Placa de Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell on the Mediterranean.
A 20-year-old student who lives in Barcelona told the BBC, “There was a loud noise and everybody ran for cover. There were a lot of people, lots of families (at the site)… I think several people were hit. It was horrible. There was panic. Terrible.”
People are sheltering in nearby cafes and shops. Esparcia said he was taking cover inside a Starbucks.
Facebook started a “Safety Check” for the affected area, and urges those who can offer help to volunteer. Users in the area can check in, notifying loved ones that they are safe.
President Donald Trump responded to the attack in a tweet.
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Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News
First Picture Courtesy of Josep Lago and Getty Images
First through Fourth Tweet, Second Picture, and Video Courtesy of Twitter and WOIO Cleveland 19 News