Dutch witnesses: Everyone's in shock after Nice Attack

no image
No image availableNL Times

The identities of the at least 80 people killed and hundreds injured in a terrorist attack in Nice, France on Thursday night, are still unclear. At least three Dutch were present at the attack and survived it relatively unharmed. Everyone is in a state of shock after the attack, they told various Dutch media.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday a truck filled with firearms and grenades crashed into a crowd of people on the Promenade des Anglais, where hundreds were gathered to watch a firework show. At least 80 people were killed and hundreds injured, 18 of whom seriously. The attack is considered an act of terrorism, though so far no one has claimed it.

Brenner Bouwman is in France for a language course and witnessed the attack. He and some friends were on the boulevard for the firework show. "We rented bikes and had to return them. As we walked back there was suddenly a truck with a broken front. A man had his hand out the window with a gun. Then I started running", he told RTL Nieuws after the attack on Thursday night. "I saw him drive into people and saw people lying on the side of the road. Immediately it flashed through my head: is this the only place, or is there more. I also can't understand why there aren't concrete blocks or something, how could he just drive here?" When he spoke to the broadcaster, Bouwman was waiting at his school building for his friends. "I have no idea how everyone is doing."

Laila Hajjari from Utrecht is also in France for a language course and also witnessed the attack. "Everyone is in shock. But we have been advised to stay here. I'm actually waiting until the hotel staff say we should go or stay", she said to broadcaster NOS on Thursday eveneing, adding that her parents want her to come home as soon as possible. "My father called me just now to say he was immediately making a booking for me. 'You're coming home tomorrow', he said. At this moment I can't quite think clearly and figure out what I want."

Andre Hoving is now living in Nice with his wife and son. The family watched the fireworks on the boulevard and were walking back to their flat when all hell broke loose.. "At such a time everything goes right through you You're only concerned with escape." he said to RTL Nieuws.

According to Hoving, the truck drove at about 120 kilometers p/h when he hit the crowed. "He zigzagged and drove as fast as possible, to make as many victims as possible. Everyone fled in panic", he said. "We leaped sideways in time. The truck passed 20 cm away from us. We only have some scrapes on our knees and elbows because we jumped sideways, but otherwise we are unhurt. Many others are not, it was crowded on the boulevard.

Emergency services arrived after about 30 minutes, according to him. Hours later there were still covered bodies lying on the streets. "I think they're giving wounded the priority, not the dead."