Barcelona attack: Irish victims to return home this week
Spain’s royal couple visit the Potot family in hospital following Las Ramblas assault
Queen Letizia of Spain speaks to Nailah Potot in hospital in Barcelona. Photograph: Getty
King Felipe VI of Spain speaks to Irishman Norman Potot who was injured in last Thursday’s terrorist attack. Photograph: Getty
The Irish family who were injured in the Barcelona terror attack are expected to return home early this week.
Norman Potot, who lives in Dublin, suffered a hemorrhage to a kidney and a head injury after being struck by the van which killed 13 people and injured more than 120 on Las Ramblas on Thursday.
The leg of Norman’s son, Nathaniel, was broken in the ensuing stampede, and his daughter Nailah suffered a fractured arm. Their mother, Pearly Fernandez Potot, escaped with minor injuries.
Medical staff at Hospital del Mar, where the family are being treated, are currently awaiting the results of scans to Norman’s kidney and head. Nathaniel also required minor surgery on his leg.
Hospital staff said the family were “in very good condition” and will likely be released from hospital on Monday. It is understood they intend to return to Ireland the following day.
Many of those injured in the Barcelona attack were brought to the hospital.
Norman and Pearly are originally from the Philippines but are Irish citizens. They were in Barcelona to celebrate Nathaniel’s fifth birthday.
The family were shopping for souvenirs when the attack took place. Norman was struck on the side and knocked unconscious. When his wife found him, she thought he was dead and slapped his face to revive him.
The royal couple also spoke to medical staff at the hospital, before laying a wreath on Las Ramblas, among a growing number of candles and floral tributes.
They were joined by Catalonia regional president Carles Puigdemont and surrounded by throngs of people.
Ten of the 14 people killed in the twin attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils have been named. There are still 53 injured people in hospital, 13 of whom are in a critical condition.
The dead and injured came from 34 different countries. The latest victim to be identified is Julian Cadman, a seven-year-old British-Australian boy.
Spanish police are still looking for the driver of the van which ploughed into dense crowds on Barcelona’s main thoroughfare on Thursday afternoon.
Police say they have no clues on the whereabouts of 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub.
There is some speculation that he has crossed into France, but investigators would not confirm this.
It was initially thought he was one of the five men killed by police in Cambrils on Thursday, but police later indicated he was still alive.
Regional police chief Josep Lluís Trapero said that “if we knew that he was in Spain and where, we would go after him. We don’t know where he is.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said it was a miracle more Irish people were not hurt in the Las Ramblas attack, given the significant number of Irish tourists in Barcelona and the number of Irish working and studying in the city.