August 17, 2017 1:10 pm
Updated: August 17, 2017 2:50 pm

Barcelona attack: Facebook activates safety check feature

ABOVE: Video shows police running towards scene of Barcelona attack, victims being treated.


Facebook has activated its “Safety Check” feature for users in Barcelona after an apparent terror attack in a popular area of the city Thursday afternoon.

A Catalan official confirmed there are at least 13 dead and 50 injured after a white van deliberately plowed through a crowd. Video shows a white van mounted on a walkway with heavy damage to the front bumper.

READ MORE: Barcelona attack: Police still searching for driver of van that killed 13, injured 100

Safety Check allows family and loved ones to check in with those in affected areas to let them know they’re safe. The tool allows users to check in as “Safe,” which sends a notification to their friends’ list.

Facebook activated the feature shortly after news of the crash. The feature also allows people in the area to offer help, such as shelter and water, for those impacted by the attack.

READ MORE: Facebook’s new Community Help feature will help connect people during disasters

Citing local media, Reuters reported two armed people entered a restaurant in Barcelona after the van plowed through the crowd. Authorities have yet to confirm gunfire in the area.

Photos on social media show several people on the ground as emergency services arrive.

You can check here to see if your friends and family in Barcelona are safe.

Couple grieving after the attack in Barcelona.

Associated Press

Following the incident, officials asked people in the area to “communicate via social networks” to avoid overloading the local telephone system.

Emergency crews also are urging people in the area to clear the roads in order to allow ambulances to get through.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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