Police have confirmed deaths and several injuries after a “massive crash” involving a van in Barcelona’s city center. Authorities have deemed the incident a “terrorist attack,” AFP and El Pais reported.
La Vanguardia reported that 13 people were killed in the crash and 30 others others injured, two critically.
Police say the crash occurred after the van jumped the sidewalk, AP reported.
Authorities are looking for the driver of the vehicle, who escaped on foot, according to El Nacional.
Reports have emerged stating that two armed men entered a Turkish restaurant called Luna de Istanbul and are holding people hostage. They are reportedly negotiating with police.
However, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported that the perpetrators are holed up in a bar on Tallers Street.
The vehicle used in the attack was a rented Fiat van. The perpetrators had also rented a second car with which they had planned to flee, according to La Vanguardia.
The crash occurred on the famous La Rambla, a street popular for tourists visiting the city.
Catalan Emergency Services tweeted that an incident occurred near Plaça Catalunya and advised people to avoid the area.
It said in a second tweet that the closure of rail stations in the area had been requested.
Authorities have cordoned off the area and shut down nearby stores. A helicopter is hovering above the scene.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was in contact with authorities, stressing that the priority was to help the injured.