Dutch tourist dies after swallowing car key

The man had been overpowered by police after causing an incident in a supermarket

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A vehicle of the Guardia Urbana in Barcelona in an archive image.

BarcelonaThe Catalan police is investigating the death of a 37-year-old Dutch tourist who was restrained by local police in Barcelona on Thursday. The facts happened when, at 10.45 pm, workers of a supermarket on Avinguda Riera de Cassoles, in Sarriá - Sant Gervasi district, alerted the police that a man had entered the shop in an "obvious state of great exaltation" and was causing a disturbance. When officers arrived at the supermarket, they tried to restrain him and he lost consciousness shortly afterwards. His vital signs could not be detected.

According to the Guardia Urbana, when the officers and several members of the Medical Emergency Service (SEM) were trying to revive him, a car key was ejected from his throat. Shortly afterwards they managed to stabilise him and transfer him to the Hospital de Sant Pau, where he finally died at 2.15 am on Friday.

The victim was on holiday in the city with his family, who have already been contacted, the police explain. They were staying in an establishment near the supermarket where the events took place. The police say they have offered social services support to the family, and the consulate has been contacted to make itself available to them. The Catalan police has opened an investigation to clarify the facts. In turn, Barcelona local police has opened an internal investigation, as is mandatory, to collaborate with the regional police's investigation.