Friday 23 March 2018

Irish family hurt in Las Ramblas carnage hope to fly home soon as royals pay a visit

People gather at an impromptu memorial at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain Photo: Reuters
People gather at an impromptu memorial at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain Photo: Reuters

Ian Begley

The Irish-Filipino family injured in the Barcelona Islamist terror attack will arrive home early this week.

It was hoped the Potot family would be discharged from hospital as early as yesterday, but it is understood husband Norman is awaiting the results of a CT scan.

Mr Potot (45), from Ballsbridge, Dublin, was on holiday in Barcelona with his wife Pearly (39) and their two children Nailah Pearl (9) and Nathaniel Paul (7) when the atrocity occurred on Thursday.

Mr Potot has remained under observation as he injured his kidney, while Nathaniel broke his leg.

Mrs Potot and Nailah suffered cuts and bruises but were otherwise uninjured.

Speaking to RTÉ, Mrs Potot said Nathaniel, who suffered a broken femur, was "feeling better" and could move more freely in bed.

The family had travelled to Barcelona to celebrate Nathaniel's seventh birthday.

The family were delighted yesterday to meet with Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who were visiting many of those injured in the attack.

The king was heard asking Mrs Potot how long they had lived in Ireland and enquiring about how old the couple's children are.

At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 were injured when a van sped through Las Ramblas and ploughed into pedestrians.

The driver abandoned the van and fled on Thursday after speeding along a section of the tourist hot spot, the most famous boulevard in Barcelona, leaving a trail of dead and injured among the crowds of tourists and local residents.

Another woman died after a car rammed passers-by in the resort town of Cambrils in the early hours of Friday, before police shot dead five attackers who were wearing fake explosive belts and had an axe and knives in the vehicle.

Police have arrested four people in connection with the attacks - three Moroccans and a citizen of Spain's North African enclave of Melilla. Another three have been identified but are still at large.

Spanish media said two of them may have been killed in Alcanar, where a house was razed by an explosion shortly before midnight on Wednesday, while one suspect, named by 'El Pais' newspaper as Younes Abouyaaqoub, was still sought by police.

The latest victim to be identified was Julian Cadman, a seven-year-old British-Australian boy.

The Catalan interior department also yesterday confirmed the deaths of an Italian and a Belgian national in the Las Ramblas attack. Forensic doctors and police are still working to identify two remaining victims.

Among those already named are Luca Rosso, a 35-year-old Italian; Bruno Gulotta (35), an Italian father-of-two; and Jared Tucker (42), an American construction worker. Officials said 51 victims remain in hospital, while 81 have been discharged.

Irish Independent

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