Co. Derry woman who fled Barcelona attack: ‘It makes me sick to my stomach’

Shari and Danny Butcher
Shari and Danny Butcher

A County Derry woman who was just feet away from the terror attack in Barcelona has spoken of the terrifying moment she fled from the carnage.

Mother-of-three Shari Butcher was on holiday in the Spanish city with her husband Danny when a van ploughed into crowds at the famous Las Ramblas on Wednesday.

Thirteen people were killed and more than 80 were injured in the carnage, which was carried out by the Islamic State terror group.

Minutes before the attack at Las Ramblas, the couple, from Limavady, had been taking in the sights at the packed tourist hot spot.

Shari said: “We had just sat down and ordered a drink at a cafe when we heard a really loud bang.

“At first my husband thought it was a car crash, then people started running towards us and screaming and armed police ran past us blowing whistles.

“I knew straight away it was a terrorist attack, just from the look of sheer terror on the faces of the people running towards us.

“Danny stood up and saw some people lying on the ground. We had no idea what was going on.”

The pair joined the masses of other terrified people fleeing from the carnage.

“I made sure to stay in cover behind trees, as I was worried someone was going to start shooting at us,” Shari added.

“I kept thinking of what happened in London, where the attackers ran around with knives stabbing anyone they came across. Danny shouted at me not to panic, but I was absolutely terrified.”

The couple made it back to their hotel unharmed and locked themselves in their room.

“I checked the news for what had happened and just couldn’t believe it,” Shari said.

“There were families with young children walking along that street. It makes me sick to my stomach.

“I didn’t get much sleep that night and cried a lot. It was a truly horrendous experience.”

They were due to fly home last night.