A north-east couple could hear screams growing louder as they hid in a shoe shop amid the chaos of the Barcelona terror attack.
Craig and Jackie Lockhart, from Stonehaven, were holidaying in the Spanish city and realised something was wrong when they began seeing groups of young people in tears near Las Ramblas.
Mr Lockhart said: “We thought that was unusual, but at that time there were still a lot of people acting normally so we didn’t know what was going on.”
It was only when they neared the scene of the atrocity and entered a shopping precinct that alarm set in, as they saw more people crying and shopkeepers hurriedly rolling down the shutters of their stores.
“There was a lot of confusion, we could see a large police presence and could hear the screaming starting to increase”, the 53-year-old firefighter said.
“There was a panic going through the crowd, and we saw a guy getting chased by armed police.”
Mrs Lockhart – who has competed in several major international curling tournaments for Scotland, and represented Great Britain at the Winter Olympics – said not knowing what had caused the drama was “scary”.
The 52-year-old, who works for Shell, added: “People just started running, a little girl who was beside us was being pushed over and had skinned her knees.”
At that point, the couple sought refuge in a shuttered shoe store as police locked down the streets.
Mr Lockhart said: “At various points we could hear more panic among the people in the shop as we were being pushed to the back.
“After two hours inside, some armed police officers came in and we could see people being let out of other shops with their hands in the air.”
The pair were led in single file from the shop where they had been sheltered, and quickly retreated to their nearby hotel.
They described an eerie silence in the city on Thursday night.
Yesterday, they witnessed the King of Spain, Felipe VI, travelling to Catalonia Square to lead a moment of silence.
Mr Lockhart said: “There is a less solemn mood now, and a feeling of life going on and things getting back to normal.”