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Manchester Arena bomb survivor caught up in Barcelona terror attack

Chris Pawley Photo: MEN Syndication

A survivor of the Manchester Arena bomb has described the horror of being caught up in the Barcelona terror attack.

Chris Pawley, who lives in Manchester city centre, was just yards away from tourist hub Las Ramblas when a van ploughed into pedestrians. He reached the area just after the attack took place, which is now believed to have killed 13 people and left dozens injured.

Chris, 30, was enjoying a trip to the Spanish city with partner Corey Lorde for a festival when the terrorist struck on Thursday afternoon.

Chris Pawley, who lives in Manchester city centre, was just yards away from tourist hub Las Ramblas when a van ploughed into pedestrians. Credit: MEN Syndication

Speaking from Barcelona, he said: “We were in the area after the incident. We have just come back to the hotel, as we were caught up in the arena attack – can’t believe it.”

“There was police everywhere and ambulances, the shops started putting the shutters down. “The first we knew about it was through our phones on Sky News, as I get their notifications on my phone. “We then saw all of the reporters with the cameras and could just see the rows of emergency services.”

– Chris Pawley
The scene in Barcelona yesterday Credit: MEN Syndication

Chris, who immediately left the area, said tourists are being advised by hotels to stay in their rooms.He had previously been in the audience during the fateful May 22 gig by US singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena but left the venue and were crossing the footbridge into Manchester Victoria station just seconds before the bomb detonated.

Chris said: “We were so so lucky. We came out into the area where the bomb exploded. Walked past Martyn (Hett) as we were sat near him. “Got through the second set of doors and as we were crossing the bridge to go down the steps, it went off behind us so literally seconds. So lucky we managed to escape unhurt.”

Police in Barcelona are hunting for the driver of the white Fiat van, who fled on foot after the incident. There are also unconfirmed reports two attackers were holed up in a bar close to the scene.

A spokesman from the Barcelona Civic Protection Office said: “The official information I have is that we have one person dead, and 64 people were attended by medical services.”