'Horrific terrorist attack' kills 84, injures many more in Nice, - | WBTV Charlotte

'Horrific terrorist attack' kills 84, injures many more in Nice, France

Emergency services respond after a truck plows into crowds in Nice, France. (Source: BFM TV) Emergency services respond after a truck plows into crowds in Nice, France. (Source: BFM TV)
The attack happened at the Promenade Des Anglais, a large public area near the ocean in the seaside city. (Source: Google Earth) The attack happened at the Promenade Des Anglais, a large public area near the ocean in the seaside city. (Source: Google Earth)
Forensic officers stands near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in Nice, southern France, July 15, 2016. (Source: AP Photo/Claude Paris) Forensic officers stands near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in Nice, southern France, July 15, 2016. (Source: AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A Police car is parked near the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice. (Source: AP Photo/Christian Alminana) A Police car is parked near the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice. (Source: AP Photo/Christian Alminana)

NICE, FRANCE (RNN) - Eighty-four people are dead and reports say at least 50 are injured after a semi-truck intentionally plowed into a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France. 

Fox News reported early Friday that two Americans were among those killed. NBC identified them as Sean Copeland and his son Brodie Copeland of Texas. 

French President Francois Hollande said France's state of emergency in place since the terror attacks in Paris last November, will be extended by three months. The state of emergency was set to expire July 26.

 “It is clear we have to do everything to fight against terrorism, and France has been struck on a day of liberty. All means are being deployed to help the wounded. France as a whole is under a threat of Islamic terrorism," Hollande said,

France's Terror Prosecutor's Office has officially opened an investigation into the incident. The BBC reported that the driver in the attack has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, citing French media.  

The driver was under fire from police when he accelerated through the crowd at high speed, leaving no doubt the attack was intentional.

The truck was loaded with bombs, arms and explosives, said Christian Estrosi, the president of the region in a tweet. The truck did not explode, which would have magnified the carnage. Investigators are looking into the possibility of accomplices.

The driver was shot dead by police. The truck still sits where it stopped rolling, riddled with bullet holes in the windshield.

The attack happened about 11 p.m. local time on the Promenade de Anglais, a wide, open public square near the waterfront in the picturesque coastal city. The attack took place after a fireworks display watched by tens of thousands of people.

The vehicle drove two kilometers (1.2 miles) through the huge crowd, French Prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre told the AFP news agency.

Bastille Day is similar to the Fourth of July in the U.S. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille, a prison in the center of Paris. The attack happened after a fireworks display.

Video and images on social media showed huge crowds running for their lives while many others lay dead and injured in the streets.

"Bodies are everywhere," a witness told AP.

The attack happened the same day that French President Francois Hollande announced he would on July 26 lift a state of emergency that had been in place since January. 

During his news conference, Hollande said there is still a threat to France, but he could not "prolong the state of emergency eternally."

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES:

President Barack Obama released a statement and called the event a "horrific terrorist attack".

On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.

On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.

France experienced its deadliest terrorist attack on Nov. 13, 2015, in Paris when 130 people were killed at a music venue, bar, restaurant and sports stadium in shootings, suicide bombings and hostage taking.

On Jan.1, 2016, in Valence a man rammed his car into four soldiers protecting a mosque. A few days later, Jan. 7, a jihadist attacked a Paris police station and was shot dead in an incident that left one policeman with injuries.

On June 13, 2016, in Magnanville a jihadist stabbed to death a police officer and his wife and a police secretary. 

Nice, a metropolitan city of about 340,000, is located in southeast France on the Mediterranean Sea. 

Copyright 2016 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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