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France: Bastille Day in Nice - 60 people feared dead after truck aims at crowd watching the fireworks

Friday 15 July 2016, by siawi3


60 people feared dead after truck hits crowd in Nice, French officials say – live updates

Vehicle reportedly mounted kerb and struck people celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice, local media sources say

Mayor of Paris tweets in solidarity with Nice
French prosecutor’s office says 60 feared dead

LIVE Updated 4m ago
Emergency services help an injured victim. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Kevin Rawlinson (earlier) and Bonnie Malkin (now)

Thursday 14 July 2016 23.57 BST

4m ago Francois Hollande heads to crisis centre
22m ago Nice prosecutor’s office says 60 feared dead


10s ago 00:01
Driver of the lorry is dead

The interior ministry has confirmed that the driver of the truck, which ploughed through crowds on the Nice promenade, is dead.

4m ago 23:57
Francois Hollande heads to crisis centre

The French president is heading to the interior ministry’s crisis centre, Reuters reports.

The French presidency said on its Twitter feed that the government had activated the inter-ministerial crisis centre following the incident in Nice.

6m ago 23:56
Saeed Kamali Dehghan

Maryam Violet, an Iranian journalist visiting Nice on holiday, told the Guardian that she saw the lorry running over people as they walked in the pedestrian area after the fireworks had finished.

“Everyone was completely shocked, I saw that suddenly people were fleeing and shouting,” she said over the phone from Nice.

“People were shouting ‘It’s a terrorist attack, it’s a terrorist attack’, it was clear that the driver was doing it deliberately,” she said.

“I was walking for nearly a mile and that there were dead bodies over the place. I think over 30 dead bodies are on the ground and lots of people are injured.

The bodies had been covered by blue sheets.

“I saw two sisters and one brother from Poland that were mourning the death of their two other siblings,” she told the Guardian.

“The youngest one was crying and the other two just didn’t know how to react.

“There were so many Muslim people who were victims because I could see they had scarves over their head and some were speaking Arabic. One family lost a mother and in Arabic they were saying she’s a martyr,” she said.

“People were celebrating and it was so peaceful, it was a festivity vibe, it was right after the fireworks that the truck came and ran over people.”

9m ago 23:52

Donald Trump has been quick to deliver his take.

10m ago 23:51

Bonnie Malkin here, taking over the blog from Kevin.

Tony Molina, a witness to the attack, has told CNN that he watched the chaos unfold from his hotel room on the promenade.

“There was still a crowd of people and then you just see this big white panel truck, I couldn’t see the driver, but it just kept going at different angles from left to right at 25 to 30 miles and hour,” he said.

“People were screaming and running. There are still people I am looking at right now that are near their deceased family members.

“I work in homicide and I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable.”

20m ago 23:41

The US president Barack Obama has been appraised of the situation and will be updated as appropriate, the White House says.

22m ago 23:39
Nice prosecutor’s office says 60 feared dead

The Nice prosecutor’s office is being quoted by the i-Télé TV channel that 60 people are now feared dead.

Updated at 11.42pm BST

34m ago 23:28

A witness has told the Associated Press that he saw the truck driver emerge from the vehicle with a gun and start shooting after ploughing into the crowd.

Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native who spoke to the agency near the city’s Promenade du Paillon, said: “There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere.”

Updated at 11.30pm BST

37m ago 23:25

Sebastien Humbert, the prefect for the Alpes-Maritime area has told BFM TV: “A truck rammed into the crowd over a long distance, which explains this extremely heavy toll.” According to Reuters, Humbert said the truck driver had been shot dead and that he was treating the incident as an attack at present.

Updated at 11.30pm BST

38m ago 23:23

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has tweeted: “On behalf of all Parisians, all of our fraternal support [goes] to the people of Nice. Our cities are united.”

Updated at 11.30pm BST

40m ago 23:21
Vikram Dodd

British security and government officials are monitoring the situation in Nice, as the seriousness of the incident escalated.

The initial details suggest a tactic that jihadi propaganda has suggested for several years, with a vehicle ploughing into a crowd. For instance, Inspire magazine – affiliated with al-Qaida – urged the tactic several years ago.

There are two immediate direct consequences for the UK if the attack is confirmed as a terrorist incident: fears about the decision by terrorists to use the tactic and the fact that past attacks overseas have led to increase in hate incidents directed at Muslims in Britain.

Updated at 11.31pm BST

45m ago 23:17

Nice-Matin quoted its own reporter at the scene as saying there were many injured people and blood on the street. It published the photograph below of the damaged, long-distance delivery truck, which it said was “riddled with bullets” and images of emergency services treating the injured.

Damien Allemand, the paper’s correspondent, was quoted as saying: “People are running. It’s panic. He rode up on to the Prom and piled into the crowd ... There are people covered in blood. There must be many injured.”

Emergency services respond to the incident. Photograph: Sky News

Updated at 11.32pm BST

49m ago 23:13

A witness is telling BFM TV that he heard shots fired but that he could see nothing of the driver of the truck. It was unclear who fired the shots the witness referred to.

Updated at 11.32pm BST

51m ago 23:11

There have been numerous reports that shots were fired during the incident, though it must be pointed out that they have not been confirmed by officials.

1h ago 23:05

The local paper Nice-Matin: “If you are looking for a place to find cover, use #PortesOuvertesNice (doors open Nice)”

Updated at 11.12pm BST

1h ago 23:03

1h ago 23:01

Reuters now reports that a French official has told local media that at least 30 people are dead and 100 injured. The driver is also dead, the local prefect reportedly said.
Emergency services help an injured victim.
Emergency services help an injured victim. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Updated at 11.06pm BST

1h ago 22:59

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) says its reporter described seeing a white van driving at high speed on to the Promenade des Anglais, which is by the beach in Nice, as people were leaving after the Bastille day celebration display.

“We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around,” he said, adding that the incident took place near the Hotel Negresco. Terrified pedestrians screamed as they fled the area. “It was absolute chaos,” he said.

A security cordon was established, closing off the central Place Massena by 11.30pm GMT, another AFP correspondent said.

Updated at 11.13pm BST

1h ago 22:52

Christian Estrosi, the official in question, tweeted: “the driver of a truck seems to have killed dozens of people. Stay indoors for the time being. More information is to follow.”

A truck has driven into crowds in Nice. Photograph: Twitter/@Admitonesin

Updated at 11.13pm BST

1h ago 22:48

Dozens of people have been killed by a lorry that ploughed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, according to the mayor of the southern French city.