One woman in Emerald Park was watching the deadly events in Barcelona, Spain closely Thursday.
Sandy Gangl’s sister and brother-in-law are on a cruise vacation, and were stopped in the city when a deadly vehicle attack occurred, killing at least 13 people and injuring 100 others.
She received a text Thursday morning from her sister, Susan Pafford, indicating they were okay.
“I was shocked, especially when she sent me that text,” said Gangl. “She just texted me saying ‘for your information, we’re safe but on the run.'”
“It’s pretty scary. She’s my only sister,” she added.
Speaking from Barcelona to 980 CJME, Pafford described a chaotic scene filled with panicked pedestrians and streets filled with police.
“We got to one point and people came running around the corner screaming our way,” she said.
Her husband Rob, a former RCMP officer with specialized emergency response training, knew something wasn’t right.
He said they were just a half-block away from the attack when it happened.
“You’ve got a lot of pandemonium, there’s a lot people running in different directions, helicopters, sirens echoing off buildings,” he recalled.
“We literally just walked right into it.”
Rob said it took roughly three hours to get out of the crowd and into a safe area.
Based on other recent attacks in Europe, something like this wasn’t too far off his thoughts.
“The whole time we’re here you can’t help but have that in the back of your mind,” he said.
“It’s difficult to relax and enjoy your vacation when you’re always thinking that some psychopath is going to try and kill a bunch of people, when lo-and-behold that’s what happens.”
The Paffords said they are angry and frustrated with the incident, which police have called a terrorist attack. Susan said she is still worried as they continue their vacation.
Back in Emerald City, Gangl feels the same way.
“There could be other stuff happening. You never know, being over there in European countries isn’t safe like it used to be,” she said.