Two dead after van crashes into dozens of people in Barcelona – police

A van crashed into dozens of people in the centre of Barcelona on Thursday and several people were injured, police in the Spanish city said.

Police described the incident on Twitter as a “massive crash”. Emergency services said people should not go to the area around the city’s Placa Catalunya, and requested the closure of nearby train and metro stations.

El Pais newspaper said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after mowing down dozens of people.

While full details of the incident were not immediately clear, since July 2016 vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in a series of militant attacks across Europe, killing well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London and Stockholm.

In recent weeks, threatening graffiti against tourists has appeared in Barcelona, which draws at least 11 million visitors a year.

In one video released under the slogan “tourism kills neighbourhoods”, several hooded individuals stopped a tourist bus in Barcelona, slashed the tyres and spray-painted the windscreen.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday he was in contact with authorities after a van mowed down dozens of people in Barcleona’s city centre.

Rajoy said on Twitter the priority was to attend to the injured.

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