More than ten children were killed and at least 50 hospitalized after a truck plowed through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on Thursday night (July 14).
Around 50 children were hospitalized at Lenval Foundation, a local pediatric hospital, according to Le Figaro (link French). The facility said two of those died on Friday morning (July 15) during surgery, and that those remaining are still “between life and death.” Christian Estrosi, the president of the area’s regional council, told a TV station that more than 10 children were among the dead, the AP reported, but it’s unclear whether that tally includes that two that died this morning.
As of now, official tallies say 84 people were killed in the devastating attack, with at least 18 people in extremely critical condition and over two dozen more in critical condition. The attack is now being treated as a terrorist incident. France will commence three days of national mourning starting tomorrow (July 16).
According to the Guardian, witnesses said the driver was “zigzagging” through the crowd on the Promenade des Anglais to inflict as much damage as possible. He is said to have driven along the stretch for two kilometers (1.2 miles). He was eventually shot dead by police.
Authorities have yet to confirm the identity of the truck driver, but French local media have reported that it was 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a local man and French citizen. Le Figaro reports that his apartment was searched this morning (July 15). Police are trying to establish whether the driver, who is said to have had past encounters with police in relation to petty crimes, acted alone or with accomplices.
“France is afflicted, but France is strong, and France will always be stronger than the fanatics who want to strike France today,” president Francois Hollande said this morning. Prime minister Manuel Valls said the country would not allow itself to be destabilized by violence, but added that “times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism.”
Meanwhile, distraught relatives are using social media to search for their loved ones who remain missing.