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'I Saw Bodies Lying Everywhere', Nice Truck Attack Eyewitness Tells Sputnik

© REUTERS / Eric GaillardA man walks through debris scatterd on the street the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016.
A man walks through debris scatterd on the street the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Local guide Rita Davletova and her friends were dining on an outdoor terrace at a restaurant located at Nice's world-famous waterfront when they saw a truck drive into a crowd that was celebrating the Bastille Day holiday. "I saw people falling in the middle of the road," she told Sputnik.

She found herself caught up in the worst terrorist attack in the city's history, the latest in a string of terrorist attacks across France and beyond.

Davletova's friend who works at Nice's town hall told them to hide inside a casino. "She understood what was happening right away," the guide said.

"We went inside the casino. People were rushing in from the street to hide. Then the doors were closed and we were told not to leave. We saw what was happening in the hallway through half-closed doors. The wounded were brought in; there were so many of them," she recalled. "Those who were inside the casino did not understand what was happening, because there was no cell coverage. We could not reach our loved ones."

They were allowed to leave at approximately 1 a.m. Davletova saw bodies covered with sheets in the casino hallway.

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bank Moscow residents bring flowers to French embassy following Nice attack
 Moscow residents bring flowers to French embassy following Nice attack - Sputnik International
Moscow residents bring flowers to French embassy following Nice attack

"There were many bodies on the highway. We were afraid to leave, because we live in different parts of the city. It was dark," she said. They stood for a while and finally decided to go home. "I was walking along the highway. There were bodies covered with sheets everywhere."

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Davletova could not sleep that night. She tried to call her friend from Moscow who was staying in the capital of the French Riviera with two of her German friends, but could not reach her.

"They were planning to watch the fireworks. I am still waiting to hear back from her," the eyewitness said. "There was a Russian guy in the casino, probably 20 years old. He was also standing there waiting. He happened to be there by chance, he was walking past the casino and talking on the phone and then he looked over and saw the truck."

He rushed into the casino with Davletova and others. "He was trying to reach his mom," she said.

© REUTERS / Eric GaillardFrench forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016.
French forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. - Sputnik International
French forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016.

"Lots of people lost sight of each other. A woman who was the first to run into the casino with a baby stroller burst into tears because her husband fell on that highway. I hugged her; I had no idea how to console her. She continued crying as she didn't know what happened to her husband," Davletova recalled.

The attack took place at approximately 11 p.m. on Thursday night at Nice's waterfront following a fireworks display marking the Bastille Day holiday in France's fifth most populous city. It claimed the lives of at least 84 people, including children.

President Francois Hollande and other French officials referred to it as a terrorist attack.

© REUTERS / Eric GaillardFrench soldiers and rescue forces in Nice, France, July 14, 2016.
French soldiers and rescue forces in Nice, France, July 14, 2016. - Sputnik International
French soldiers and rescue forces in Nice, France, July 14, 2016.
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