Gedney teen just misses Spanish terror attack

Edward Lanning
Edward Lanning
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A Gedney teenager has described how he came within 24 hours of being caught up in last week’s terrorist attack in Barcelona.

Edward Lanning (16) was on holiday with his family in the Spanish city where 13 people died and more than 100 others were injured after a van was deliberately driven into a crowd of people last Thursday.

The Spalding Grammar School student, who collects his GCSE results today, branded the attack in the Las Ramblas part of Barcelona, an area popular with tourists, as “immoral”.

Edward said: “The market was rammed with people when we were there the day before and there were absolutely no signs that anything like this was going to happen.

“There was a nice, relaxed atmosphere there and so it’s a really strange feeling to know what happened there just a day later.

“It’s made me reflect and realise that it’s a small world we’re living in and every day when you turn on the news and see something awful happening, you just accept it.”

The man suspected of driving the van into the crowd last Thursday, Moroccan national Younes Abouyaaqoub (22), was shot dead by Spanish police on Monday.

Four other men have been arrested in connection with the attack which was widely condemned by world leaders, including Prime Minister Theresa May who in a statement said that she was “sickened by the senseless loss of life in Barcelona”.

Edward said: “Before the Barcelona attack happened, you don’t act on things like that.

“But it’s changed my perspective and made me think of the contrast between having such a great time and the shock of all those deaths and injuries.

“I’m horrified by what happened last Thursday and, no matter what someone believes in, there’s no excuse for killing anyone, especially innocent civilians and tourists.

“It’s immoral and that’s the thing that’s made such a big impact on me.

Edward added: “Watching the news on TV this week, it’s certainly hit home how lucky I was.”