Hundreds of terrified people ran to try to escape as driver ploughed into crowds
An eyewitness to the attack in Nice last night has said he saw the driver slam the vehicle into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers and then emerge from the vehicle shooting.
Wassim Bouhlel said: "There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere."
A local official has been quoted as saying the driver travelled at high speed for more than a mile along the seafront before hitting spectators.
Hundreds of terrified people ran to try to escape, with the seaside path left strewn with fallen bodies after the carnage ended.
The driver of the truck has been shot dead and an anti-terror investigation has been launched.
One witness told i-Tele: "We almost died. It was like hallucinating... (the lorry) zigzagged - you had no idea where it was going. My wife ... a metre away ... she was dead.
"The lorry ripped through everything ... poles, trees.
"We have never seen anything like it. Some people were hanging on the door and tried to stop it."
Des silhouettes fantomatiques, enveloppées dans des couvertures, quittent bars, hôtels où elles étaient réfugiées pic.twitter.com/zg0IJsY5fa— Grégory Leclerc (@GregLeclerc) July 15, 2016
A reporter for the AFP news agency described the scene as "absolute chaos", adding: "We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around. I had to protect my face from flying debris."
He added: "For a big truck like that to get actually onto the promenade and then to go in a fairly straight line along there, looked to me like a very deliberate act.
"It was about 100 metres from me and I had a few seconds to get out of the way."
Police could be seen surrounding the truck, its windscreen riddled with bullet holes, under the light of the Negresco Hotel in the aftermath of the attack, which has become a makeshift hospital.
'Cries that I will never forget'
Witness Tony Molina watched the chaos unfold from his hotel room on the promenade.
He told CNN: "There was still a crowd of people and then you just see this big white panel truck, I couldn't see the driver, but it just kept going at different angles from left to right at 25 to 30 miles and hour.
"People were screaming and running. There are still people I am looking at right now that are near their deceased family members.
"I work in homicide and I've never seen anything like this. It's unbelievable."
Nice Matin journalist Damien Allemand, who was at the waterside, said the display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.
"A fraction of a second later, an enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people," he said.
"I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. (I) Heard noises, cries that I will never forget."
Sylvie Toffin, a local authority press officer, said the lorry "hit several people on a long trip" down the pavement.
Ms Toffin said that "to my knowledge" there was no gunfire and that the incident was deliberate.