Tuesday 27 September 2016

Scottish couple feared missing after Nice attack 'okay'

Lynsey Bews

Published 15/07/2016 | 16:50

Carole Annie Cowan and Ross Cowan Credit: Family handout/PA Wire
Carole Annie Cowan and Ross Cowan Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

A Scottish couple reported missing after the Nice attack are "okay", according to a relative.

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Carole Annie Cowan and Ross Cowan were in the French city on holiday when at least 84 people were killed.

Mrs Cowan's sister Amy Stanton, from Helensburgh, became concerned after she was unable to contact the couple following the attack.

She had reported her sister, 27, and her husband, 30, as missing to the UK Foreign Office and posted an appeal for information on Facebook.

But she later returned to the social media site to report that the couple are okay and are leaving Nice on Friday evening.

Downing Street has said a "small number" of Britons were injured in the attack in which a terrorist drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "My heart goes out to people in France and all of those affected by this horrific terrorist attack in Nice.

"We need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with France, a country which has suffered far more in recent times than any country should ever have to, and I have spoken already today to the consul-general of France here in Edinburgh to convey our condolences and our deep sadness at this attack, but also our solidarity in the fight against terrorism."

Eyewitnesses said the killer swerved the truck from side to side to kill as many people as possible as he drove for hundreds of metres along the Promenade des Anglais on the seafront on Thursday evening.

Sandra Kinloch, from Stanley, Perthshire, told BBC News the truck passed two metres from her on the promenade.

Ms Kinloch, who is in Nice with her husband on holiday, said: "I was walking on the promenade and seconds later the lorry didn't have its lights on, so we could just hear it.

"It was coming at speed and it was noisy and kicking over bins and things. We were just so lucky to get out of the way at the right time."

Meanwhile, police in Scotland have reviewed security arrangements as a precautionary measure following the attack.

The force stressed there is no specific information which suggests the country is at risk, but the UK threat level remains at "severe".

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson, Police Scotland's lead officer for organised crime, counter terrorism and safer communities, said: "Police Scotland is committed to ensuring all communities across the country are as safe as they can be and I would ask the public, especially around crowded places and transport hubs, to remain vigilant and alert, but not alarmed. If you suspect something is wrong, then report it to the police."

Floral tributes have been left at the French Consulate in Edinburgh, which is a twin city with Nice.

A book of condolence has also been opened in the French Institute for Scotland next door.

Flags are flying at half-mast at public buildings, including Edinburgh City Chambers and the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "The people of France have suffered devastation and loss in recent years that no nation should have to go through.

"Once again the thoughts and prayers of everybody in Scottish Labour and across the country are with the people of France."

Holyrood's Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said: "I am truly shocked and deeply saddened by the news from Nice.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected."

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