Two Americans among the dozens killed as large truck crashes into crowd during Bastille Day celebration in France
NICE, France -French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says 80 people have died, including two Americans, in the truck attack on the seaside avenue of Nice, and 18 people are in critical condition.
Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, were from Texas.
Numerous others have been wounded, he said after traveling to the scene.
“The identification of the criminal is in progress,” he said, refusing to confirm reports that an ID card was found after police shot the truck driver dead.
“We are in a war with terrorists who want to strike us at any price and in a very violent way,” the minister said.
Witnesses said the driver pointed his tractor-trailer into the crowd and accelerated, mowing bodies over. The driver was shot to death, authorities said. Reports indicate at least 100 people were injured. Nobody has claimed responsibility.
American Dominique Molina, who was watching from a balcony, said the fireworks had just ended and a crowd of spectators on the beach was disbanding.
“People were flooding the streets, just walking away from the show, and I heard a lot of loud noises and people were screaming and so to the west, a big moving truck was driving on the promenade, just barreling over people and hitting, running people over,” she said.
She estimated the truck moved at 20-25 mph.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned what he said “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack” in Nice.
“We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved-ones of those killed,” he added.
Obama is offering French officials “any assistant that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice.”
Anti-terror prosecutors have taken over the investigation, according to the prosecutor’s office.
France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, characterized the evens in Nice as a “terrorist attack.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of U.S. citizens in Nice. Any U.S. citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform them of their well being.”