France Bastille Day attack: A timeline of events

A man drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice's beachfront Thursday, killing 84 and wounding more than 100. The man at first fired a semi-automatic weapon into the crowd, then began to run people over as they scrambled to find cover. The attack ended when police shot and killed the driver, who they said was known to them as a petty thief.

Here’s a timeline on how the attack unfolded. (Times are local Nice time)

10:05 p.m.: The fireworks celebrating France’s independence day are ending and people who have  been watching them along Nice’s Promenade des Anglais are beginning to gather their things and make their way home or to their hotels. Some stay behind as live music acts dot the promenade.

10:10 p.m.: The first reports of a truck hitting spectators start to come in to emergency responders. Those involved call for help for the injured after the truck attack takes place over the course of a mile along the promenade.

10:15 p.m.: Video begins to emerge showing a white truck slowing moving down the Promenade des Anglais, then speeding up and striking people as they scramble to get out of the way. Gunshots can be heard on the video.

10:30 p.m.: Law enforcement reports what many think was a horrible accident was, in fact, a planned attack. Ambulances are at the scene or headed to it. Witnesses say there are “bodies everywhere.”

10:30 p.m.: What had been a hashtag honoring France’s independence day – #BastilleDay – now becomes a show of support for the victims of the attack.

10.35 p.m.: Five minutes later, Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, reports that the truck attack "seems to have killed dozens of people".

10:40 p.m.: People around the world are becoming aware of the attacks. #prayfornice is now trending.

10:45 p.m.: The media is now reporting a growing number of dead – at least 30 with scores more injured. 

10:51 p.m.: Images of the carnage begin to appear on social media. Photos of bodies and blood have police asking locals to stop posting photos and video to Facebook and Twitter. The Nice-Matin newspaper releases a picture of the trucks bullet-riddled windshield.  

10:57 p.m.: Just short of an hour after the attack began, there are media reports that the truck driver is dead, shot and killed by police. Reports say the driver of the truck involved is dead.

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11:08 p.m.: There are reports of a "possible accomplice" to the lorry driver who escaped the attack and is on the run. (a lorry is a large, heavy motor truck used to transport goods or sometimes troops). The report would later be corrected as officials believe the driver acted alone.

11:17 p.m.: Law enforcement and city officials begin to speak about the attack. Sebastien Humbert, an official in the Alpes-Maritime area, says: "A truck rammed into the crowd over a long distance, which explains this extremely heavy toll."

11:20 p.m.: French President Francois Hollande is informed of the attack and at this time he heads back to Paris from the south of France to assess the situation. 

11:32 p.m.: The death toll is climbing, and by now, about an hour and a half after the attack, Nice prosecutor's office says at least 60 people are dead.   

11:58 p.m.: Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman for France's Interior Ministry confirms there is no hostage situation, adding: "I can't give you information on the man's motives yet."

Midnight: Authorities say the truck drove at least 2 kilometres (1.3 miles) through the crowds, aiming for people

12:09 a.m.: Donald Trump tweets that he will postpone a news conference where he was to name his running mate.

12.29 a.m.: Prosecutors launch an investigation, say it was a terror attack that saw the truck barrel through the crowd at a high speed.

12:55 a.m.: President Barack Obama issues statement that condemns the “horrific terrorist attack in Nice".

1:17 a.m.: Reporters are told that the death toll has risen to 77.

2 a.m.: People are looking for loved ones, both in Nice and from outside of the city. The hashtag #RecherchesNice begins to trend.

2:25 a.m.: Police say the man they believed carried out the attack was a   citizen of Nice. He was a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man.

2:47 a.m.: French President Francois Hollande addresses the nation and calls the attack an act of terror. He extends a state of emergency already in place in France. It had been set to expire in a week and a half. 

3:24 a.m.: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tells journalist 80 people have been killed and 18 are in a critical condition. Among the dead and injured are children.

6:25 a.m.: The death toll reaches 84, according  to authorities.  

9:55 a.m.: Two children died of their injuries during or immediately after surgery, the children's hospital in Nice says. According to a spokesman there, the hospital has treated some 50 children and adolescents injured in the attack.

10:05 a.m.: As the investigation continues,  German police say more vigorous checks are being put into place in that country.

Sources: Sky News; ABC News; The Associated Press; CNN

Growing number of attacks

The attack in France on Thursday is one in a growing number of terror incidents the country has seen in the past few years.

Here's a list that looks at some of those attacks.

1. March 11, 2012: Mohammed Merah, 23, kills a French Muslim paratrooper in Toulouse, France.

2. March 14, 2012: Three days later, two uniformed French Muslim soldiers are  killed by Merah, and a third wounded at a shopping center in Montauban, France.

3. March 19, 2012: A week and a day after his first attack, Merah attacks children and their parents at Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse. After a 32-hour stand-off,  Merah is shot  and killed by police.

4. Jan. 7, 2015: Gunmen forced their way into the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing eight employees, a maintenance worker, a police officer and a person visiting the magazine office. The massacre was carried out by  two Islamist gunmen who identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda in Yemen. A third Islamist gunman shot two people and took hostages at a nearby kosher market. Two days after the attack, Cherif  and Said Kouachi, brothers, were located by police and died in a shootout.  

5. June 26, 2015: A factory owner was beheaded by an employee near Lyon, France.

6. Nov. 13,  2015: A coordinated attack on several spots in Paris leaves 130 dead and nearly 400 injured. Suicide bombers struck at a soccer stadium and other terrorist shot and killed people throughout the city.

7. June 13, 2016: A police officer and his wife were killed in front of their son in a knife attack at their home in a Paris suburb. The killing, by a man who had been previously jailed for  terrorist activities, was posted on Facebook.

8. July 14, 2016: A man drives a truck through a crowd of people celebrating French Independence Day. He kills at least 84 and injures more than 100. 

Click here to see a graphic timeline of the terror attacks in France.

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