BELGIUM: The town of Lommel in shock after Swiss bush crash kills 22 children and injures 24. Victim's parents to be flown to Switzerland by military planeRecord ID: 382780
- Title: BELGIUM: The town of Lommel in shock after Swiss bush crash kills 22 children and injures 24. Victim's parents to be flown to Switzerland by military plane
- Date: 15th March 2012
- Summary: LOMMEL, BELGIUM (MARCH 14, 2012) (REUTERS) TWO BUSES CARRYING RELATIVES OF VICTIMS OF BUS CRASH, LEAVING SCHOOL CRYING PARENTS AT ENTRANCE OF SCHOOL POLICE AT ENTRANCE OF SCHOOL POLICE CLOSING SCHOOL GATE POLICE ENTERING SCHOOL EMPTY PLAYGROUND OF SCHOOL TWO WINDOWS OF EMPTY CLASS ROOM PARENTS TALKING TO POLICE (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY MAYOR OF LOMMEL, KRIS VERDUYNKT, SAYING: "We have 22 children from this school of the last year, so children of 11 to 12 years that were on the bus as well as two adults, one teacher and one person who is also working in the school and they were in the bus as well. But we can not say at this moment who is victim and who is not, we don't have their names already." OFFICIAL TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Dutch) DEPUTY MAYOR OF LOMMEL, KRIS VERDUYNKT, SAYING: "At this moment we don't have a lot of information, but I can tell you the following, we as the city council are shaken by this accident, and even more so because it involves a public school, and quite a few pupils are involved in the accident. I have no confirmation about who are the victims, so I can not give you that information." POLICE TALKING TO PARENTS AT SCHOOL MEDIA AT SCHOOL ZAVENTUM, BELGIUM (MARCH 14, 2012) (REUTERS) MILITARY ESCORTING CARS INTO MELBROEK MILITARY AIRPORT CARS ENTERING AIRPORT MELBROEK MILITARY AIRPORT SIGN POLICE AT AIRPORT CARS ENTERING AIRPORT BUS FROM LOMMEL CARRYING RELATIVES OF BUS CRASH VICTIMS ARRIVING AT AIRPORT BELGIUM PRIME MINISTER ELIO DI RUPO ARRIVING AT AIRPORT AIRPORT GATE CLOSING WITH PLANE MOVING BEHIND IT
- Reuters ID: LVAC10HET9FA30HGK8GYEMV82HDB
- Location: Belgium, Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Duration: 00:03:45
- Topics: Accidents
- Story Text: Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo arrived at Melbroek's military airport on Wednesday (March 14) to show his support to the families of the victims of the bus crash in Switzerland.
A bus carrying Belgian children home from a school ski trip crashed into the wall of a tunnel in the Valais region of Switzerland, killing 28 people, 22 of them children.
The bus, transporting 52 people, mostly school children aged about 12 from Lommel and Heverlee in Flanders, crashed late on Tuesday evening in the canton of Valais, police told an early-morning news conference.
Two military planes will take the families of the victims to the crash site. Belgium King Albers and his wife Queen Fabiola are also expected at the airport to show their support to the relatives.
Di Rupo said in a statement he would also travel to Switzerland on Wednesday.
The bus was heading back to Belgium after a skiing holiday camp in Val d'Anniviers, a ski resort at about 1,600 metres (5,250 feet) altitude in the Valais Alps that border France.
Police said the bus had just joined the highway towards Sitten from Siders after coming down to the valley from the resort. After 2 kms (1.2 miles) on the road, the bus bumped into the curb and skidded into an emergency siding of the tunnel.
The front third of the bus was smashed in. Many passengers were trapped in the wreck and had to be freed. Some 200 police, fire-fighters, doctors and medics worked through the night, while 12 ambulances and eight helicopters took the injured to hospital.
Twenty-four other children aboard the Belgium-bound bus were injured and were being treated in hospital, police said. The two bus drivers were killed. The cause of the accident is not yet known, police said.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told French radio Europe 1 the bus was one of three travelling together and the other two had returned to Belgium.
Switzerland's mountain regions have a history of deadly crashes. In 2001, a truck crashed in the Gotthard tunnel under the Alps, causing a blaze which killed 11 people.
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