UPDATE 7:13PM EST: Current casualty numbers are at 72 people dead and 120+ injured with 50 people described as being in serious or critical condition according to the BBC. French officials have apparently deployed military units in the streets of nice to keep the peace. Witnesses at the scene described absolute carnage. They said the driver purposefully accelerated over bodies on the ground, which they described as being “everywhere”. The driver of the vehicle then emerged from the cab of the truck and immediately began firing indiscriminately at anyone in the area. Stay with this post for more information.
UPDATE 6:24PM EST: Officials say that suspects who committed attack with truck and then guns might still be on the loose. One of the suspects was reportedly shot and killed by onsite officers at the scene, however a second possible suspect remains unaccounted for. Police also have not ruled out the possibility that this is a multi-site attack similar to the Paris attacks earlier this year. There are unconfirmed reports of a possible hostage situation at a nearby restaurant. Police are urging residents to stay inside their homes until the all-clear is given. Facebook has reportedly activated its “Safety Check In” feature for the Nice area so residents can let distant friends and family know they are safe.
UPDATE 6:02PM EST: Officials say dozens of people have been killed, likely over 40. Some were run over and some were shot by the driver and passenger of the vehicle. Authorities say over 100 people have been injured and absolutely expect the number of fatalities to climb in the coming hours. The driver of the vehicle is said to be dead. No word on the passenger yet.
UPDATE 5:47PM EST: Fatality numbers may be as high as 30-40 according to some local French outlets.
ORIGINAL STORY: According to initial reports out of Nice, France, a truck has seemingly purposefully plowed into a massive, dense crowd of people. Dozens are reported to be dead and many estimates say there are at least 20 fatalities and numerous other injuries.
According to witness reports on social media, the occupants of the vehicle also exchanged gunfire with police. It is not clear if this occurred before or after the truck struck members of the crowd that were gathered for Bastille Day.
The city is now on lockdown and the Mayor of the city has said the city is under attack.
Authorities are treating this as a deliberate mass casualty attack and are advising all residents to shelter in place until more information can be gathered on any ongoing threats.
Video from the event shows hundreds of people running from the area:
– Truck plows into crowd
– At least 20 dead
– Shots have been fired
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) July 14, 2016
The city of Nice is the fifth most populous in France and sits on the Mediterranean coast.
Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison during the French revolution in 1789. According to Wikipedia:
Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La fête nationale (French pronunciation: [la fɛːt nasjɔnal]; The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (French pronunciation: [lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; the fourteenth of July).
The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, an important event in Paris in a violent revolution that had begun two days earlier, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.