Barcelona ‘a ghost town’ in wake of terror attack
AN Egham resident has detailed her experience in Barcelona as the aftermath of Thursday night’s (August 18) terrorist attack along Las Ramblas unfolds.
Joely Stevens, from Egham, has been in Barcelona since August 3 and has been staying near the centre of the Catalan city.
Speaking to Surrey Advertiser, she said following the attack, people could be seen talking frantically on mobile phones and information about what had happened was slow.
She said: “The atmosphere up until yesterday was happy, everyone goes about their daily business and there’s many people drinking and eating in the restaurants and streets, genuinely a positive atmosphere.
“I happened to be in my apartment yesterday [Thursday] making a late lunch when I heard the news.
“At first everything seemed really slow, we relied on English news reports on our phone to work out what was happening.
“The reports were slow and we were unsure what was happening. I got a call from a friend at a Spanish airport near Grenada who told me mostly what was going on.”
By then Spanish TV were advising people to avoid the Place de Catalunya district where terrorist attack happened.
She added: “From our balcony we saw some people just walking their dogs as usual, and others quite frantic on their mobile phones.
“Our apartment is approximately 10-15 minute walk from the attack, so very close. At around 11pm we left the apartment to get some food.
“We noticed the famous tapas street outside our apartment was completely shut and like a ghost town, which is unusual for a city that’s often still awake at 3am.
“However further into the city at Parallel Street, the next main Street to La Ramblas, some shops were still shut but there was still many people walking about and going about their lives as normal.
“Finally headed out this morning to get coffee and whilst everything is open again it does seem slightly quieter.”
Pedestrians in Las Ramblas were knocked down by the speeding van in the terror attack.
Isis has claimed responsibility for the atrocity which left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured – 10 of whom were seriously hurt.
Just eight hours after the attack in Barcelona, a similar incident happened in Cambrils. One woman died in hospital after an Audi A3 ploughed into pedestrians. Five people and a police officer were hurt.
After the attackers’ vehicle overturned, the five people who got out were shot by police and all died. Some of them were wearing fake suicide belts.
People across the world have joined in solidarity, including F1 driver Fernando Alonso, whose team, McLaren is based in Woking.
People in Barcelona gather next to candles and flowers placed to commemorate those killed and wounded in the recent terror attack.