Hours after the attack, parents were still looking for their children at the hospital in Nice’s Promenade des Anglais on Friday afternoon, my colleague Angelique Chrisafis reports from the city.
The worst thing was the sheer number of children coming in, the nature of their injuries – serious head trauma and broken limbs – and the emotion felt by the children and their families,” said Frederic Sola, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon who worked in the hospital emergency room through the night. “The children were physically very injured but also emotionally very hurt.”
Some relatives were in such shock they were unable to talk. “The psychologists have heard terrible things, there are awful stories that children are telling,” said Stéphanie Simpson, head of the hospital’s communications team.
She said 39 people hit in the attacks had been brought to the children’s emergency department. A total of 30 children were treated at the hospital after the attack – the youngest only a few months old and the oldest was 18. Two children died in the night after being admitted. Several children were still in intensive care on Friday.The emotion on the Fondation Lenval emergency ward was heightened by the fact that the six-storey children’s hospital – with its vast airy atrium, kite mosaic, and teddy bear frescoes on a corridor wall – is located right on the promenade where the attack took place. The suspect, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, had passed the hospital as he set out to drive at high speed into the crowd of Bastille Day revellers.
“It happened so close to the hospital that the emotion is very strong,” said Simpson. She herself had been at the fireworks display with her 10-year-old son and had posted pictures on Facebook of him grinning in front of blue and red fireworks exploding in the sky 20 minutes before the attack.
She left 15 minutes before the lorry struck because she had spotted a drop of rain falling on her phone while she was taking the photos, and felt it was getting a bit chilly. “There were so many families there – children and grandparents – and many of them had been picnicking on the beach,” she said.
Source: The Guardian.