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A Russian student, a Muslim mum-of-seven, an American father and son on dream trip... the faces of Nice's slaughtered innocents

Names of the victims emerge as concerns grow for Irish citizen caught up in killing spree, while PM Theresa May says UK stands steadfast with its neighbour across the Channel

By Adrian Rutherford

An American father and son were among those killed in the attack in Nice, it has emerged.

Texan Sean Copeland, who was 51, and 11-year-old Brodie were on holiday when they were caught up in the atrocity.

Their devastated family said they were "so loved" and added: "We are heartbroken and in shock over the loss of Brodie, an amazing son and brother who lit up our lives, and Sean, a wonderful husband and father."

Relative Haley Copeland wrote on Facebook: 'By now many of you have heard about the 80 people that have died in Nice, France, from a terrorist attack driving through a parade.

"Two of those 80 people were American, and those two people happen to be uncle Sean and 11-year-old cousin Brodie.

"They were there on vacation with my two other cousins and aunt celebrating a birthday."

Hill Country (HC) Baseball, a sports club, posted: "This evening we would like to ask that the HC family keep the Copelands in your prayers.

"This afternoon our very own Brodie Copeland, as well as his father Sean Copeland, were killed during the terrorist attack in Nice, France.

"This photo was sent to me earlier today from the French Riviera... nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family.

"You are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. Rest in peace, Brodie and Sean, you will be remembered by many."

The post was accompanied by a photo of the young boy at a beach.

The names of the dead began emerging yesterday as fears grew for an Irish person who was injured in the attack.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told RTE that one Irish citizen, understood to be from Galway, was believed to have been critically injured.

Another victim was a Russian named in reports as 21-year-old student Victoria Savchenko. She was killed instantly when she was hit by the truck as she walked with her friend Polina Serebryannikova.

Yesterday Polina (22) described how she saw the lorry career through the crowd just moments before it hit Victoria, a student at the Russian Government's elite Financial University in Moscow.

"My friend and I were walking on the promenade," she said. "We saw this truck moving in a strange trajectory. My friend was hit and died. I have been taken to the hospital. I have broken toes on one foot, and my other leg is swollen."

According to the L'Express newspaper, the first victim to die was a Muslim mother-of-seven.

Fatima Charrihi's son Hamza said she was with nieces and nephews when she was killed, and that his brother tried to revive her, but she died instantly.

Holding up an identity card that belonged to his mother, he added: "She wore the veil, practising an Islam of the middle ground. A real Islam. Not that of the terrorists.

"She was the first victim - there were no other bodies before her."

Another French victim was Robert Marchand, a 60-year-old industrial supervisor from Marcigny, a small, rural town in eastern France, who was a parent and a coach at an athletics club.

A French family-of-four, Francis and Christiane Locatelli, aged 82 and 78, and their daughter Veronique Lion (55) and grandson Michael Pellegrini (28) were also killed.

The assistant commissioner of border police in Nice, Jean-Marc Leclerc, is also believed to be among the dead.

German authorities said two students aged 17 and 18 and a teacher from Berlin had lost their lives after the culprit mowed down crowds celebrating Bastille Day on Thursday.

Two Armenians, a Ukranian and one Swiss national were among the dead, their foreign ministries confirmed, but they did not identify the victims.

Dozens of pictures have been posted on social media in a desperate bid to find loved ones who were reported as missing.

A Facebook page called SOS Nice was set up to help people find their relatives and friends in the hours after the attack.

Despite the countless personal tragedies in the city, after several hours the page began to report that many of those who had been reported missing had been found safe and well.

Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande said that as well as the 84 dead, some 50 people were "between life and death".

Belfast Telegraph


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