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NICE, France — A young boy who was critically injured in the deadly Nice truck attack has been identified after an intensive search for his relatives, a hospital spokeswoman said late Saturday.
The rampage Thursday night in the seaside city left 84 people dead and more than 200 injured — many of them children. The Lenval Hospital took in 30 children that first night, although two didn't make it.
Five children were still in critical condition as of Sunday, according to hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Simpson.
"One of them is in very bad life danger," she told NBC News. "Very critical."
She said that three are under artificial respiration — including a boy of "about" 8 years old.
Hospital officials spent two days trying to determine his identity, circulating a photo of the boy to various networks in an attempt to locate any relatives. But the process was complicated by the extent of the child’s injuries and bandages; dental records were considered.
"It's that bad," Simpson sighed. "He's in a coma."
Late Saturday there was a bit of good news: The hospital said the young boy had been identified by his grandfather, who flew in from Germany.
"He is from Romania and is 7 and half years old," it added in a statement, without releasing his name.
There was still no news about the boy's parents, Simpson told NBC News in an email.
"Hope we will find them," she added.
Many families were separated in the chaos of Thursday night.
The truck tore down the packed Nice promenade while revelers were gathered to watch the Bastille Day fireworks display, crushing the people in its wake.
“The truck ran through families and the bodies were scattered around and so most families have lost a lot of their members,” Simpson explained. "Families were dismantled."
She said most of the children being treated at Lenval have lost at least one family member.
“The difficulty is to find all the family members because the adults are in other hospitals and here we only welcome children ... Imagine the situation,” Simpson told NBC News.
Many are suffering from shock — more than 50 families have come through for counseling already.
“Some express their pain, some cannot express the pain and we help them express it and put words on what happened,” Simpson said.
But it’s the parents who are having an equally difficult if not harder time — with some almost paralyzed and stunned. Others keep trying to count their children.
“Imagine you're here, taking pictures of the fireworks and all of a sudden your kid next to you has been run over,” Simpson added. “You can’t understand.”