By Tracy Connor, Emmanuelle Saliba, Euronews, Becky Bratu and Daniel Arkin
Witnesses to the Barcelona terror attack and its chaotic aftermath described terrified people screaming and running for their lives after a van plowed through a bustling pedestrian plaza.
The attack in the tourist district of Las Ramblas killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100 others, sparking mass panic.
"There was this tidal wave of people screaming and running towards us," said Susan McLean, a cybersecurity expert from Australia who was in the area on vacation. "People just heaved around the corner, screaming in Spanish. We had no idea what was going on."
McLean, a former police officer, said she instantly knew what had happened — terrorism.
"The fear on their faces — I just knew," she told NBC News.
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Jack Davey, a singer from Los Angeles, California, who was in Barcelona with her family, described being pulled into and locked down in a shop.
Every so often over the course of 30 minutes, Davey and her 5-year-old son, Tripper, would quietly emerge from the shop to check on the street. But then another melee would erupt and they would have to head back inside.
Davey met two other American families, including one that was close to the scene when the crash happened. "They were sitting right there and they saw everything," she said. "They said [the van] crashed into the market and killed everyone.
"They were inconsolable," she said.
After another 30 minutes, Davey and her family made a run to their car. As they drove away, they saw someone dead in the street.
"My son said, 'I told you we should have never left California.'"
Carlos Tena Gallardo, 34, recalled seeing a child lying on the ground who he believed was dead.
"My heart is torn. My soul is torn," said Gallardo, who was born and raised in Barcelona.
Gallardo always thought his city was safe. But now, he said, he will never go back to Las Ramblas.
Pablo Morante, 17, who shot video of police vehicles racing by, said he was on a bus when he suddenly saw throngs of people rushing down the street.
The van seemed to be trying to "hit as many people as possible," said Morante, who also was born and raised in Barcelona.
He said police boarded the bus and told everyone to get off — and to stay away from Las Ramblas.
"We were all scared. So many people were running in every direction, and there were a lot of police cars and police with guns," Morante said in a phone interview.
"I never thought I would be in an attack," he said.
Tracy Connor is a senior writer for NBC News. She started this role in December, 2012. Connor is responsible for reporting and writing breaking news, features and enterprise stories for NBCNews.com. Connor joined NBC News from the New York Daily News, where she was a senior writer covering a broad range of news and supervising the health and immigration beats. Prior to that she was an assistant city editor who oversaw breaking news and the courts and entertainment beats.
Earlier, Connor was a staff writer at the New York Post, United Press International and Brooklyn Paper Publications.
Connor has won numerous awards from journalism organizations including the Deadline Club and the New York Press Club.
She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Emmanuelle Saliba, Euronews
Emmanuelle Saliba is head of The Cube, a studio and news desk designed to discover, debunk and verify information in real-time at Euronews.
Becky Bratu is a staff writer at NBC News covering national, international and breaking news for NBCNews.com. She joined NBCNews full-time in November 2011, and previously worked within the company as a Web producer for "Nightly News with Brian Williams" and "Rock Center with Brian Williams." She began working at Rockefeller Center as an intern in June 2011.
Bratu previously worked for newspapers and television stations in Romania and Germany, and did a stint as a blogger and Web producer for a tech and social media start-up in Virginia.
She comes from Arad, Romania, and attended Columbia University in New York and Washington and Lee University in Virginia.