The party turned to panic Thursday as revellers in Nice enjoying France’s national holiday, Bastille Day, scattered after a truck reportedly drove into a crowd.
At least 60 people have died in what officials say was a deliberate attack.
The large truck drove onto a sidewalk and into the crowd, leaving a trail of bodies over the span of more than 100 metres. Many more people were wounded and the death toll is expected to rise.
President of the Nice region, Christian Estrosi, said the truck was loaded with arms and grenades.
The truck driver reportedly got out of the vehicle and shot into the crowd, before an exchange of gunfire with police.
An eyewitness said there were “bodies everywhere,” strewn about the roadway.
Social media images from the scene show multiple bodies on the ground; videos showed crowds of people running.
Pictures of a transport truck allegedly involved in the crash have been posted online, showing police nearby with guns drawn.
Le camion qui a foncé sur la foule pic.twitter.com/h4QuBabJMx
— Nice-Matin (@Nice_Matin) July 14, 2016
Authorities say the driver of the truck is dead, and it’s not immediately clear who is behind the attack.
Meanwhile, the Gendarmerie Nationale is tweeting in several different languages to remind those in Nice to keep calm but to avoid the downtown area.
#Nice06 Emergency operation in progress. Keep calm and avoid downtown area. Follow the official accounts to be informed.
— GendarmerieNationale (@Gendarmerie) July 14, 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to offer his sympathies to the victims of the attack.
Canadians are shocked by tonight’s attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 14, 2016
Photo via Nice-Matin.
With files from Tania Kohut, Global News.