Barcelona attack: nurse describes ‘chaos’ and trying to help the injured

A Spanish nurse has described how he fought to save the life of a little boy who was involved in the terror attack in Barcelona.

A Spanish nurse has described how he fought to save the life of a little boy injured in yesterday's terror attack in Barcelona.

Paramedics help an injured tourist in the wake of the terror
attack in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district. Picture: Shutterstock

Albert Tort said he was near Las Ramblas in the city when a van drove through crowds of pedestrians at high speed on Thursday afternoon.


‘I saw about eight or nine dead on the ground,' he is quoted as saying in the Mirror

‘(Along) with a doctor we tried to resuscitate a little boy, but it was no longer possible. It was chaos.

‘I did not see the van. I only saw the police.’

Critical condition

Some 16 people are known to have died and more than 100 injured, 15 of whom are said to be in a critical condition.

James Paget University Hospital transformation nurse Joan Pons Laplana is a Spanish national who worked as an emergency nurse at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona before moving to England.

He told Nursing Standard he found out about the attack shortly before boarding a flight at Manchester Airport to Barcelona for a two week holiday to visit his parents with his son and daughter.


He planned to attend a memorial service in Catalunya on Friday to pay tribute to the victims, before giving blood at the hospital where he worked.

‘My ex-wife rang in panic to tell me what had happened,' he said.

‘I was so shocked, I spent the next hour in a horrible state trying to locate all my friends and family.

‘My auntie took a long time to reply and I was going frantic.’

Anger and sadness

Describing the streets of Barcelona as ‘deserted’ and ‘like a ghost town’ he added: ‘I am full of anger and sadness at what has happened.

‘Yesterday we saw the worst of humanity – but we also saw the best in terms of how locals responded.

‘Everyone is coping well, but they are short of blood, especially O Negative, which is why I will go and donate mine later.

‘This is such a wonderful place, maybe not today, but I know it will be again soon.’

Messages of solidarity

UK-based nurses to taken to social media and express messages of condolence and solidarity:

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.