No less than 73 persons have died on Thursday in Nice, France after a truck drove into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, a French newspaper Le Figaro, quoted an unnamed police source.
Christian Estrosi, a leading regional politician in the area, said on Twitter: “This is the worst drama in the history of Nice with more than 70 victims already.”
It was gathered that the driver of the truck was shot dead after he drove at a high speed along the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront before hitting the mass of spectators
French television station BFM TV, revealed that about 100 persons were injured, while local authorities were treating the incident as an attack.
One eyewitness told BFM TV: “Everyone was calling run, run, run there’s an attack run, run, run. We heard some shots. We thought they were fireworks because it’s the 14th of July.
“There was great panic. We were running too because we didn’t want to stick around and we went into a hotel to get to safety. “
Another witness, Roy Calley told the BBC that there were “thousands of people on the promenade” when the incident happened.
A local official described the incident as a “major criminal attack”, urging people in the area to remain indoors.
Photos shared on Twitter showed about a dozen people lying on the street.
An AFP reporter described seeing a white van driving at high speed onto the famed Promenade des Anglais as people were leaving after the annual Bastille Day celebration display.
“We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around,” he said.
The reason for the crash remained unclear.
Witnesses also described hearing gunfire, but this was not immediately confirmed by the authorities.