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article imageBodies 'tossed into the air' in 'horrific' Nice truck rampage

By Vincent-Xavier Morvan, Robert Holloway (AFP)     Jul 15, 2016 in World

Bodies were tossed into the air in scenes of "absolute chaos" as a truck careered into crowds of people who had just enjoyed a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, witnesses have told AFP.

As the full horror of the attack emerged on Friday, more accounts emerged of the carnage wrought when the truck driven by Tunisian national Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel ploughed into families and revellers.

One woman, Nataje, 52, said she heard a "boom" as the truck began accelerating into spectators on the Promenade des Anglais, the showpiece coastal road in the southern French city.

"I turned round and I saw the truck which was crashing into the crowd and bodies flying into the air," the Nice resident said.

Police officers stand near a truck that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the Fre...
Police officers stand near a truck that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016
Valery Hache, AFP/File

"You could see he wanted to make as many victims as he could. He was driving fast.

"It was horrible. I saw a father with his two-year-old son in his arms. The child was dead."

A few spots of rain were falling as AFP correspondent Robert Holloway and his wife Sylvie were strolling back to their daughter's apartment after watching the fireworks.

"We had probably walked about 15 minutes from the promenade (after the fireworks display) and the crowd was getting quite sparse when suddenly this white truck appeared out of nowhere," he said.

"It was weaving its way along the promenade itself. It was clearly not fully in control as it was hitting the metal barrier.

"It was hurtling towards us and we had just enough time to yell at each other 'get out of the way!'.

"We threw ourselves to the right where there were parked cars.

Police officers and rescue workers arrive at the scene of an attack on July 14  2016  after a truck ...
Police officers and rescue workers arrive at the scene of an attack on July 14, 2016, after a truck ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice
Valery Hache, AFP/File

"The truck went by in a shower of debris, of broken glass and plastic.

"I remember looking away and having to put my hand up to shelter my face. Then we got across the Promenade des Anglais.

"After that we couldn't see what happened. It ploughed down the promenade and we could hear screaming and shouting.

"We didn't know if there was another truck, but there was no doubt in our minds this was a terrorist attack by someone who was deliberately out to kill large numbers of people.

"So our first concern was to contact our daughter Marina, which we did and we told her to stay where she was — she was out somewhere near the airport.

"We both feel a bit bad about it but we then went back to the apartment to put ourselves in safety."

Rescue workers help injured people to get in a ambulance on July 15  2016  after a truck ploughed in...
Rescue workers help injured people to get in a ambulance on July 15, 2016, after a truck ploughed into a crowd in Nice on July 14, leaving over 80 dead and scores injured in an "attack" after a Bastille Day fireworks display
Valery Hache, AFP

Laroussi, a Tunisian tourist, said "people were going crazy".

"I saw a little boy cut in two even though his pushchair was still intact.

"We couldn't sleep all night (thinking about it). It's just terrible," he told AFP.

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