- Title: BELGIUM: School pastor says Haverlee mayor 'furious' at Swiss delays over bodies
- Date: 16th March 2012
- Summary: HAVERLEE, BELGIUM (MARCH 15, 2012) (REUTERS) FLOWERS AT HAVERLEE SCHOOL
- Reuters ID: LVADCRM3DZIFSMITI8UOWSHTXI61
- Location: Belgium, Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Duration: 00:00:08
- Topics: Accidents,Education
- Story Text: A Belgian school pastor expressed anger on Thursday (March 15) at Swiss authorites after he says they were refused permission for the bodies of those killed in a bus crash to head back home.
Twenty-four of the children on the trip were from the St Lambertus school in Heverlee, a town in Belgium's northern Dutch speaking region of Flanders.
Earlier in the day, the Belgian defence minister announced that a Hercules C130 plane of the Belgian army was prepared to fly to Sion to take back the first of the identified bodies to Belgium, but Belgian national media later contradicted this statement, saying in Sion no planes are allowed to take off after sunset.
"It appears, because the Swiss government is not giving the permission that the dead bodies are leaving the Swiss country. Our mayor was a little bit -- how can you say ? -- angry. That's already a light version. He was more, he was furious that in a civil country, with civilization, that we have to wait such a long time before we know the exact names, before we know definitely the situation. It's terrible," school pastor and dean of Leuven Dirk De Gendt said, after journalists and officials observed a minute of silence.
A Belgian school bus carrying 52 people crashed late on Tuesday night as it returned from a school-organised ski-trip in Switzerland. Twenty-eight people died, including 22 children all aged around 12.
Swiss authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.
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- Embargoed:31st March 2012 13:00
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