Canadian political leaders are expressing shock and outrage following the deaths of at least 84 people in Nice, France after a truck loaded with weapons plowed into a crowd of people Thursday night.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Canada’s support for France.
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
In a statement, Trudeau added that Canada has offered “all possible assistance to the French government.” Lawrence Cannon, the Canadian ambassador to France, took to social media to confirm that at this point, there does not appear to be any Canadian causalities.
#NiceAttacks: no Canadians reported among casualties to date. Thanks to the French authorities for their cooperation
— Lawrence Cannon (@lawrence_cannon) July 15, 2016
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion also issued a statement, stating Canada condemns this “horrific terrorist attack.” Similar sentiments were expressed by Opposition leader Rona Ambrose, N-D-P Leader Thomas Mulcair, B-C Premier Christy Clark, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and others.
A large truck plowed through a crowd of people gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, killing at least 84 people and sending others into the water as it drove down for more than a mile along the Riviera city’s waterfront promenade.
Montreal teacher Heloise Landry visiting the French city said she barely escaped being hit by the truck.
She told The Canadian Press she was watching the festivities when she headed indoors because it was cold outside, then heard panicked screams and said “there was blood everywhere.”
The driver was shot dead by police.
So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the Thursday night attack on France’s national holiday, sending shockwave through a nation still dealing with the fallout of two attacks in Paris last year that killed a total of 147 people.
The U.S. state department has said two Americans were among the dead. The victims are believed to be a father and son who were visiting the area on vacation.
More than 10 children are believed to be among the dead.
Flags have been lowered to half-staff in Nice and in Paris, and French President Francois Hollande has extended the state of emergency put in place after the November bloodshed another three months.
The government also declared three days of national mourning will begin Saturday.
Police are working to identify the driver. There are reports identification papers were found in the truck, and investigators are working determine whether they are legitimate.
Hollande admits it’s not immediately clear whether the driver had accomplices. The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for “murder and attempted murder in an organized group linked to a terrorist enterprise.”