Aug. 17, 2017 is a day that Spain and the world will never forget. The brutality and the horror that struck the quiet streets of La Rambla, Barcelona is truly terrifying. There are not enough words to describe the destruction that ensued on this fateful day.
A group of terrorists crashed a van into a group of pedestrians, killing 13 and injuring at least 130 people. The victims were from 34 different countries.
Screams filled La Rambla, and terrified pedestrians fled to every corner. They were unaware that this attack was in fact a part of a much larger, organized terrorist attack.
The driver of the van fled the scene on foot, but later murdered his 14th victim in order to steal his car.
Emergency services arrived quickly at the scene and attended to the wounded. Injured were found covering the streets, some incapable of moving at all. The once beautiful street had turned into a war zone, with bodies as far as the eye could see.
About nine hours after the attack in Barcelona, five men, that were assumed to be of the same terrorist group as the Barcelona murderer, drove into pedestrians in Cambrils, a nearby town. They killed one woman and injured six others.
Spain was left in terror, with many worried for their loved ones and fearful of what may happen next.
The police located the attackers and shot them; the prime suspect in the Barcelona attacks, who was the driver, was also killed 30 miles west of Barcelona.
The day before the Barcelona and Cambrils attack, a house exploded in the Catalan town of Alcanar. This killed two associated with the same terrorist group that committed the Barcelona attacks.
Police say that the explosion was accidental and not intended, and the leader of the terrorist group was thought to be the one who caused the explosion.
Inside the home there were over 120 gas canisters. Police believe that these were intended to be used in a even larger attack, where they would place bombs in three cars that the terrorists had rented.
These attacks are the deadliest Spain has seen since 1987.
Here at MJHS we have the honor of having a foreign exchange student from Spain. Her name is Marta Ruiz-Daporta. She stayed in contact with one of her friends that was in La Rambla during the attack.
“It was super scary seeing what happened and knowing that my friend was there,” she said.
Ruiz-Daporta also noted that everyone is now terrified to go outside, and the peace of the town has been destroyed.
A video her friend had taken moments after the attack occurred depicted terror more graphic than you could imagine. The only way to describe it is that it was truly horrifying.
On Monday, people were found at memorials remembering their loved ones. The whole world is grieving the deaths of the innocents that were brutally killed. Spain, you are in our thought and prayers.