Swede detained after Barcelona police fire on stolen butane gas truck

media captionVideo shows police at the scene of the shooting

Police in Barcelona have detained a man after shooting at a truck loaded with butane gas canisters that was speeding the wrong way along a highway.

They opened fire on the vehicle as it headed towards the Spanish city's harbour on Tuesday, officials said.

The detained man, reported to be a Swedish national, has a history of psychiatric problems, the Spanish interior minister said.

Barcelona's city hall said the truck had been stolen.

Police started pursuing the vehicle after the driver, who was travelling at high speeds, failed to stop when ordered to do so, regional police chief Joan Carles Molinero said.

The driver then turned to make his way along the wrong side of a ring road in the city, finally coming to a stop when the truck hit a wall at about 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

image source, Reuters
image captionThe truck was stopped as it drove at high speed on a Barcelona ring road
image source, Reuters
image captionThe truck was driving against traffic on the wrong side of a ring road on Tuesday

Around 20 officers and at least six police cars arrived quickly on site, where several gas bottles were later seen lying on the ground.

At least one bullet hole was visible on the windscreen of the truck, although officials have not said whether there were any injuries following the incident.

Spanish national television TVE reported that the truck had rammed several cars before police fired several times to stop it.

Spain's interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said in a tweet that the incident on Tuesday was "not a case of a terrorist act".

"The detained driver of the stolen butane gas truck has a psychiatric history," Mr Zoido said.

Mireia Ruiz, who witnessed the incident, said the driver ignored others who were urging him to stop.

"When people shouted at him, he would laugh and make offensive gestures with his hand," she told AFP.

Police said that the 32-year-old driver was being questioned.

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