As a crowd gathered for fireworks in the southern French city of Nice a large truck drove full speed into it killing at least 73 people and injuring 100’s more in an apparent terror attack, officials said.
“Dozens are dead. Go to your home. An Investigation is beginning now.” A statement given by the President of Nice, France.
As of now there is no claim of responsibility, but France has seen increasing assaults by jihadist groups, including the Islamic State group (ISIS).
The driver of the truck was killed by police and there was no hostage situation. A witness, Wassim Bouhlel, told the Associated Press that he saw the truck drive into the crowd, then witnessed the driver emerge with a gun and start shooting. Firearms, explosives and grenades were found inside the truck as well.
The apparent attack happened at around 10:30 p.m. on the Promenade des Anglais, a major boulevard along the Mediterranean Sea.
“A U.S. official told Fox News that U.S. Homeland Security Jeh Johnson had been briefed on the attack. The official added that the attack was in line with ISIS, which has become “increasingly brazen” in its attacks as it comes under increasing military pressure in Iraq and Syria.” Fox News
There were 70-100 emergency vehicles and two helicopters on the scene. Multiple bodies are covered in blue tarps so that emergency vehicles do not run them over.
A photo taken by the reporter showed around a dozen people lying in the street, with some being tended to by emergency personnel.
“The truck that drove into the crowd.”
A view of the attackers truck sprayed with bullet holes.
A local Nice Matin journalist on the scene reported: “People ran, there was panic. He drove onto the promenade and ploughed into the crowd. There is a huge amount of blood and without doubt a lot of people have been hurt.”
A witness who gave his name as Antoine said: “We were at the Neptune beach and a firework display had just finished. That is when we saw a white lorry. It was going quickly at 60-70 kilometres an hour.”
Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native who spoke to the AP near Nice’s Promenade du Paillon, said that he saw a truck drive into the crowd and then witnessed the man emerge with a gun and start shooting.
“There was carnage on the road,” Bouhlel said. “Bodies everywhere. It is absolute chaos,” said an eye witness who works in the Nice judiciary.
“There are reports of dozens of people killed, and many more injured. Bodies are lying everywhere. Police are flooding the streets, including anti-terrorism officers. Nobody knows what to do, except to hide away. Gunmen are meant to be targeting hotels.”
Facebook now has a Safety Check feature for people in and around the area to check in for loved ones.