An unidentified former student arrives at the Sint Lambertus school. A bus carrying Belgian tourists crashed into the wall of a tunnel in Sierre in the Valais region of Switzerland, killing 28 people, 22 of them children, police said on Wednesday. The bus was transporting 52 people, mostly school children from Heverlee and Lommel in Flanders. (via Reuters.com)
Belgium mourns children who died in Swiss Alps coach crash – video
Family members of the crash victims and the Belgian prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, arrive in the town of Sion, near the crash site in the Swiss Alps, while mourners in Belgium lay flowers outside a school attended by many of the children, and the country’s archbishop says mass to mourners in the town of Leuven. Twenty-eight Dutch and Belgian citizens, including 22 children, died in the accident on Tuesday. (via The Guardian)
Swiss coach crash kills dozens, most of them schoolchildren
Two small Belgian towns are in deep trauma after a devastating bus crash in the Swiss Alps left at least 22 schoolchildren dead.
A further six people died in the crash, on Tuesday night in a tunnel in the south-western canton of Valais, or Wallis. The classes of 11- and 12-year-olds were returning from a school skiing trip to the small Flemish towns of Heverlee and Lommel, east of Brussels.
Distraught parents gathered at the Saint Lambert school in Heverlee anxiously awaiting news of who had died and who had survived the crash, which is believed to be the worst road accident in Switzerland’s history.
The bus was said to have been driving at high speed through the tunnel when it veered into the concrete tunnel wall. No other vehicles were believed to have been involved.
“A very sad day for all of Belgium. Words are not enough for this terrible accident,” said the prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, before flying to the scene of the tragedy. Two military aircraft were made available to ferry parents of the victims to Switzerland.
Didier Reynders, the foreign minister, said the bus was alone in the tunnel at the time of the crash. “We have no indication of what caused the crash.”
There were 52 people on board the bus, overwhelmingly schoolchildren. Of the 28 who were killed, 22 were pupils. The other six dead included the two bus drivers. The remaining 24 were all injured, some very seriously. Many of them were taken by helicopter to Swiss hospitals. While most of the children were from two Flemish schools, there were also seven Dutch children on the bus.
The crash took place as the children were returning from a skiing trip in Val D’Anniviers. (via The Guardian)