France has woken to the shocking news that 84 people people, including children, have been killed after a truck plowed into revellers during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice.
Photographs of dawn breaking over the Promenade des Anglais, where the attack occurred, reveal numerous body bags, as well as prams, high heels, bicycles and a child's doll, all abandoned as people ran for their lives.
French President Francois Hollande addressed the nation at 4am local time and described the attacks as of a "terrorist character". He has extended France's state of emergency, which had been in place since the November 2015 attack in Paris.
"France has been struck on the day of her national holiday – the 14th of July, Bastille Day – the symbol of liberty, because human rights are denied by fanatics and France is clearly their target," he said.
Eyewitnesses have described terrifying scenes as a truck driver drove into crowds of people who were gathered to watch fireworks in celebration of the French holiday.
Journalist Damien Allemand recounted seeing "bodies flying like bowling pins" and "heard noises, cries that I will never forget", reports the Daily Mail.
Another bystander told BFM TV: 'Everyone was calling run, run, run there's an attack run, run, run. We heard some shots. We thought they were fireworks because it's the 14th of July. There was great panic. We were running too because we didn't want to stick around and we went into a hotel to get to safety.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet. Police are set to release more information soon.
There have been reports that the truck driver was a 31-year-old man with dual French-Tunisian citizenship, but authorities have not confirmed these accounts.
Three Australians were injured in the attack, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. One Australian was on a Topdeck Travel tour.
ABC producer David Coady was among the crowds and told the ABC: "People were tripping over in the commotion, there was a lot of panic.
"People were trying to get into hotels, any businesses that were open, trying to take shelter, because it was unclear what was happening.
"With each bang that we heard behind us, people perhaps started to go a bit faster, people were tripping over, it was a very chaotic scene."
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the attack as a "murderous act of terror".