NICE, France (AP) — A truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers who’d gathered to watch fireworks in the French resort city of Nice late Thursday in what some officials and eyewitnesses described as a deliberate attack. The president of the Nice region said at least 60 people were killed.
Sylvie Toffin, a press officer with the local prefecture, said that the truck “hit several people on a long trip” down the sidewalk near Nice’s Palais de la Mediterranee, a building that fronts the beach. She called the incident “an attack.”
Nice regional president Eric Ciotti said on France Info radio that “It’s a scene of horror” and gave a figure of 60 dead. He said he was speaking from the scene.
Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native who spoke to the AP nearby, said that he saw a truck drive into the crowd.
“There was carnage on the road,” Bouhlel said. “Bodies everywhere.”
The president of the region that includes Nice said the truck was loaded with arms and grenades and the driver was killed by police. Christian Estrosi told BFM TV that “the driver fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him.”
Images circulating on social media showed grisly scenes of piles of bodies in the street. The president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur regional council, Christian Estrosi, said in a message posted to Twitter that dozens of people appear to have been killed.
Bouhlel said he witnessed the man emerge with a gun and start shooting, but Toffin said she that, “to my knowledge” there was no gunfire.
Writing online, Nice Matin journalist Damien Allemand who was at the waterside said the fireworks display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.
“A fraction of a second later, an enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people,” he said.
“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget.”
It was not immediately clear who would have been behind an attack, but France has recently seen a spate of dramatic assaults from by jihadist groups, including the Islamic State group which straddles Iraq and Syria.
Main Street says
The news reports this morning say that the culprit came from the hater culture that has caused so much misery to the world in recent years. The U.S., Britain, France and other large nations refuse to go all out to stop these haters. What will France and the EU do? We will see on the news of dudes and gals in skinny jeans putting flowers on make shift memorials. Angela Merkel will demand that more middle east refugees be settled. Then they wonder why Britain left the EU or why Trump gets millions of votes.
FED UP says
SO OBAMA, ARE YOU FINALLY GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR PEACEFUL RELIGION RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM OR ARE YOU GOING TO SIT IN THE CORNER WITH A BAG OF PEANUTS AND PLAY HOOK FINGER WITH YOUR ASS. MAYBE IF YOUR WIFE AND DAUGHTERS WERE KIDNAPPED BY THESE ASSHOLES AND TURNED INTO SEX SLAVES YOU WOULD BE MORE INTENT ON DEALING WITH THESE PUKES IN THE APPROPRIATE MANNER. BUT OF COURSE YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD BY THE MILITARY GENERALS YOU GOT RID OF HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM. THE BEST THING YOU COULD DO FOR AMERICA IS VACATE THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE NOW AND DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS. SEMPER FI (BUT NOT TO YOU)