At least 21 people have been injured after two explosions ripped through a popular bakery in Barcelona on Saturday morning, sending terrified patrons running away from the scene of the blasts amid fears of terrorist activity.
The bakery – which is located just a mile away from the popular tourist destination of Las Ramblas, which was the site of a van attack last month that killed 13 people and injured at least 130 others – was rocked by the first blast at around 7:00 am. A second explosion blew through the shop moments later.
Initial reports indicate that authorities are blaming a gas leak for causing the explosions. The bakery is situated on the first floor of a seven-story building on Carrer de la Marina, a four-lane roadway that runs northwest-southeast near the city center.
One person is said to be in critical condition, eight in serious condition, and 12 sustained minor injuries. All but six victims were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, while people in the area surrounding the bakery were treated for smoke inhalation.
“I heard a very strong explosion and the building shook,” Belén Ortega, who lives in the building, told El País. “I woke up, I saw flames and then smoke. I went to find my son and, when I exited onto the street, firefighters had already arrived. They were very quick.”
While the flames were quickly put out, authorities shut down the street and evacuated the surrounding area because of a large column of smoke that emerged from the bakery and threatened people nearby. First responders worked to ventilate the area so that the investigation into what caused the explosion could continue.