“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route.”
At least 77 people have been killed and over 100 injured in Nice, France, after a lorry truck ploughed into a crowd and its driver began shooting at a crowd who were celebrating France’s national Bastille Day last night.
Thousands of people had attended the celebrations and were watching a fireworks display when the terror attack occurred. At approximately 11pm local time, the truck was driven at high speed along the Promenade des Anglais seafront and into the mass of spectators.
Witness reports have described the truck as zig-zagging in order to hit more people.
“An enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people,” said Nice Matin journalist Damien Allemand, who was attending the celebrations.
“I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget.”
Shortly after the crash, the driver emerged from the truck and started shooting, sending spectators into a terrifying frenzy.
Alpes-Maritime department Politician, Eric Ciottio, said police killed the driver shortly after “an exchange of gunfire”, and later discovered the truck was filled with arms and grenades. The driver has not been identified as of the time of publishing, and officials are looking into whether they were acting alone or had accomplices.
The crash is being treated as a terrorist attack and has been condemned by President Obama.
The European Council president Donald Tusk has described the event as a “tragic paradox” as the attack occurred while the people were celebrating “liberty, equality and fraternity”, which is France’s national motto.
The attack comes on the heels of the November 13 2015 terrorist attack which killed 130 people in Paris, and the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015. France is currently still in a state of emergency, put in place after the November attacks. Hours before the Nice attack, French President Francois Hollande had said this emergency state would not be extended when it expired on July 26.
***This story is still developing and we will be updating with more information as it comes to light.