Press conference

  • Transcript, E&OE
18 August 2017

JULIE BISHOP: I can provide an update on the consular cases involving Australians in Barcelona who were affected by the terrorist attack in Las Ramblas. Eight Australians have been affected, including four who have been injured, three who have required consular support, and one who is unaccounted for. Of the four injured, that includes one woman, who is from New South Wales in a stable condition but was seriously injured; a second woman, also from New South Wales, is in a serious condition in hospital, she was travelling on a British passport; two young men from Victoria have been injured, they have received treatment at hospital, but both have been discharged. One Australian remains unaccounted for.

I have spoken to the Spanish Ambassador to Australia and conveyed to him the condolences of the Australian Government and the Australian people and reaffirmed our commitment to stand with Spain at this terrible time.

The situation is evolving, but we understand from the Catalonian authorities that 16 people were killed at Las Ramblas and at least 100 injured. They are the figures coming from the Catalonian authorities.

There have been two further attacks which we have been informed are related to the Las Ramblas attack. One in Cambrils, about 120km south of Barcelona. We are advised that the police thwarted an attempted attack and that about five suspects were killed, six people were reportedly injured. At this stage there are no reports that any Australians were involved in the incident in Cambrils.

There has also been reports of an explosion in a house in Alcanar, that is about 200km south of Barcelona. Again, there have been no reports at this stage of any Australians involved in that attack, but we believe one person has been killed.

The Australian Government has updated our Smartraveller that is advice available on the internet, The advice refers to the incidents overnight in Barcelona, and advises travellers to take caution, to heed the directions of local authorities.

Again, I remind Australians that if you are worried about loved ones or families, please try and get in touch with them directly, but if you are unable to do so, and you are calling from Australia the number is 1300 555 135, if you are calling from overseas the number is +61 2 6261 3305.

To date we have received over 380 calls to our consular hotline. Our consular officials are in contact with the families of those Australians who have been affected by this terrible incident.

We understand that the terrorist organisation ISIS has claimed responsibility. We condemn in the strongest possible terms these brutal and cowardly attacks, and in the case of Las Ramblas clearly designed to harm and affect tourists who were visiting the area. The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring that Australians are as safe as they can be, either overseas or here in Australia.

Any questions?

JOURNALIST: The Australian who is unaccounted for, do you have any concerns about where they are or is it just that they just haven't shown up?

JULIE BISHOP: We are concerned but we are working closely with authorities to determine the whereabouts of the one Australian unaccounted for. There are over 2000 Australians registered with our embassy as being in Spain but we know that there are many more, probably over 20,000 Australians in Spain at any one time. We are concerned for one Australian that remains unaccounted for.

JOURNALIST: The four who were injured, were they directly hit, do you know, by the van or parts of the stampede? Do you know how they were hurt?

JULIE BISHOP: I don't know the details but I know that four Australians were injured, two are in hospital in serious but stable condition, two were the young men from Victoria who I understand were actually hit by the car in one instance, but have received treatment and are being discharged.

JOURNALIST: Have the Australians given statements?

JULIE BISHOP: We are in contact with them, we've spoken to them directly and I am assuming that the authorities will follow them up. There is obviously an investigation underway, that's been confirmed by the Spanish Ambassador when I spoke with him just a short while ago.

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