Terror hit France again when a truck rammed into a crowd at a Bastille Day fireworks celebration at the Promenades des Anglais in Nice, killing dozens of people and injuring dozens more, according to media reports Thursday.
Police fired on the truck, riddling it with bullets and killing the presumed terrorist, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the French police reported late Thursday that a truckload of fireworks exploded near the Eiffel Tower. It was not immediately apparent whether this was an accident or another attack.
Bastille Day is a major holiday in France celebrating the storming of the Paris prison in 1789 triggering the French Revolution.
Reuters reported that a French official told local media that at least 30 people were dead and 100 injured, and that the driver was also dead. According to some accounts, after the driver plowed into the crowd, he got out of the vehicle and started shooting.
Ironically, earlier in the day French President François Hollande said he would not extend France’s state of emergency beyond the July 26 date that had been set. Last November, terrorists killed scores of people in Paris in coordinated attacks.
In another media report, a local Nice Matin journalist on the scene said, “People ran, there was panic. He drove onto the promenade and plowed into the crowd. There is a huge amount of blood and without doubt a lot of people have been hurt.”
Élysée Palace on Thursday night took to Twitter informing citizens that Hollande had returned to Paris from his trip to Avignon for a crisis cell meeting with the Ministry of the Interior, and that the cell has since been locked.
Hollande’s residence retweeted a Gendarmerie Nationale’s dispatch, urging citizens to not spread misinformation and to not post potentially damaging or graphic images to social media.
It also recirculated a dispatch from the French national police asking residents in affected areas to stay at home.