Many feared dead after truck runs over crowds during Bastille celebrations in France

NICE, France, July 14 (UPI) — A number of people celebrating Bastille Day in southeast France were killed and injured Thursday when a truck crashed into a crowd in the town of Nice, apparently on purpose, authorities said.

A large number of people were present at the Thursday night celebrations, which included fireworks on the promenade. Some witnesses reported hearing gunfire, as well, as the box-type commercial truck ran people over.

Officials, including Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, speculated that several people died in the incident.


“White truck literally racing through crowds of all ages. People either caught in path or forced to jump onto rocks over beach barrier,” witness Andrew Botros told NBC News in a Twitter message. “Some dead. Horrific.”

ABC News reported that the scene included several police officers standing around the truck, which was riddled with bullet holes.

Estrosi told French media that the driver of the truck fired from a weapon as he drove, and that police officers killed him. He also said “the truck was loaded with arms, loaded with grenades.”

The exact sequence of events were not immediately clear.

A newspaper in Nice, Nice-Martin, reported on Twitter that at least 73 people were dead and more than 50 wounded.

Bastille Day, known locally as La fête nationale, is the French national holiday that commemorates the 1789 Battle of Bastille during the French Revolution.

Donald Trump/Twitter

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced on Twitter Thursday that his scheduled announcement of a vice presidential candidate, which was set for Friday, was being postponed due to the event in Nice.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said President Barack Obama had been informed of the attack.

“The President has been apprised of the situation in Nice, France, and his national security team will update him, as appropriate,” he said.

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