Barcelona police fire on speeding gas canister truck

Spanish authorities say the incident was not terrorism related adding that the suspect has a history of psychiatric problems

Police in Barcelona have arrested a man after he allegedly stole a truck filled with gas tanks and drove it at speed against the flow of traffic in the city.

It has been reported officers shot at the vehicle to stop it on a road near the city's harbour this morning.

The truck hit a number of vehicles before crashing into a wall where the driver was removed from the cabin at gunpoint, according to Barcelona police.

Approximately half the butane bottles were flung from the stolen truck as the man sped against the flow of traffic on the Ronda Litoral highway with the police in close pursuit.

The man, a 32-year-old Swedish national, was not carrying any form of weapon and Spanish authorities have ruled out terrorism as a motive for the incident.

"The detained driver of the stolen butane gas truck has a psychiatric history. It was not a case of a terrorist act," the interior ministry said in tweet.

Bullet holes in the windscreen of a truck filled with gas canisters in Barcelona, Spain, 21-02-2017. Image: Manu Fernandez AP/Press Association Images 

Mireia Ruiz, who witnessed the incident from her home, said the driver ignored people urging him to stop as he sped down the wrong side of the ring road.

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

TVE news reported that the butane truck had been stolen while the owner was carrying out a delivery.

"We detained a person who was of Swedish nationality," a police spokesman said.

The 32-year-old was not injured in the shooting, but a bullet hole could be seen in the windscreen.

It was not immediately clear if anyone was hurt by the speeding vehicle.

Spain's security threat level has been one step below maximum since July 2015 after a number of attacks in Europe.

Additional reporting by IRN ...