The Bastille day fireworks had just ended when a large white truck drove fast and deliberately at the crowd on the Nice waterfront on Thursday.
A few hours later, the 40 or so people gathered in a room for victims’ families at the Pasteur hospital in the French Riviera town had the horror of it all etched on their faces.
People cried, some holding their heads in their hands. One woman with bruises on her face sat in a wheelchair, weeping and looking desperate.
At least 80 people died in the carnage and many more were injured in what President Francois Hollande said was clearly a terrorist attack, with several children among the dead.
Laurence Marie, who works at Lenval paediatric hospital, said “many” more children were undergoing serious operations there.
The attack came eight months after the Islamist militant shootings and suicide bombings in Paris that killed 130 people.
Hollande had announced just hours earlier, while marking France’s national day celebrating the birth of the world’s first republic, that he would lift the state of emergency that was put in place after the November killings.
“We were all very happy, ready to celebrate all night long, we had a big plan!,” said a 20-year-old woman in the hospital room who gave her name as Fanny.