…bodies were sent flying into the air as the heavy-duty white transport vehicle hit them on the Promenade des Anglais at about 10:30 p.m. local time, where people had gathered to watch fireworks by the Nice seafront. Videos taken by bystanders show the truck zigzagging as the driver apparently sought to hit as many people as possible as he drove along more than a mile of crowded road. Images from the scene show bodies sprawled along stretches of road.
An eyewitness describing the ordeal:
To give you an idea of how packed the streets were prior to the attacks, an aerial shot of the Bastille Day celebrations before the attack:
police killed the driver “apparently after an exchange of gunfire”. He said the truck was loaded with weapons and grenades.
In a live television address on the early hours of Friday, French President Francois Hollande said the attack was clearly a “terrorist” act.
“There’s no denying the terrorist nature of this attack of yet again the most extreme form of violence,” he said.
And more condemnation from politicians – BusinessInsider with Barack Obama:
“On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.
“On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.”
Level headed from Obama, not so much from Newt Gingrich. This from Vox:
[He said] that the time had come to start testing Americans of “Muslim background” for their loyalty to the United States.
“We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported,” Gingrich said.
He went on to say that even looking at websites that promote terrorism should be a felony and punished with jail time…
Fine, we’ll check in on Trump:
We’ll end with two heartbreaking pictures going viral following the attack – first below from Huffington Post:
“My husband picked up the kids and started running, I turned around and just saw so many dead people. I even saw a baby with its head totally crushed,” Linda, an eyewitness, [said].
And then from Twitter – captioned ‘The summer has arrived’: