Video: Coalisland man captures aftermath of truck attack that killed scores in Nice

Forensic officers examine evidence from Nice attack AP, 15-07-16
Forensic officers examine evidence from Nice attack AP, 15-07-16

A Coalisland man who was in Nice as the horrendous events of another attack on French civilians unfolded, has shared a series of videos capturing the night’s events.

Over 80 people were killed when a truck drove into a crowd of people gathered to watch fireworks in celebration of Bastille Day.

A number of children were among the dead.

From his first post, which showed confusion at the masses of people running through the streets, to a lock-down in a local bar, Damien Hughes used his Facebook posts to show he was ok.

A past pupil of St Patrick’s Academy who now lives in Dublin, he said his family in Coalisland were worried for his safety as had gone to the Bastille Day fireworks.

He said on Facebook: “To everyone - apparently several people are dead here very close to me.

“My friends and family have been trying to contact me. Thank you - I am fine. Have already spoken to my sister.

“Don’t worry about me - we are trying to keep the children relaxed - some of them are obviously very frightened. God bless.”

Giving a run down of the night’s event on his videos - one of which was submitted to the paper - he explained: “We’ve had the one and only update. A fella got up on the stage and spoke in both French and English.

“And he told us that apparently there was a guy who mounted the footpath that the promenade was on - very near the beach - and he tried to plough into people.

“The police quickly intercepted, and there was a bit of a shoot-out going on, according to him, between him and the police

“Police have asked everyone that can stay indoors, not to go outside. That’s why they’ve brought a lot of young kids into the bar here.

“So for now we just have to sit here and await further instructions from the police.”

At that stage, Damien said he didn’t know if anyone had been killed, and added: “I sincerely hope that no one has been hurt tonight because that would be a complete disaster.”

After finding out that many had perished, he added in a later post: “Dozens of people have been killed here just round the corner from me. Police have told us all to stay inside.

“This is not a joke - this is a dastardly attack.”