BELGIUM: Minute silence is held to mourn victims of the Swiss bus crash that killed twenty eightRecord ID: 382834
- Title: BELGIUM: Minute silence is held to mourn victims of the Swiss bus crash that killed twenty eight
- Date: 17th March 2012
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (MARCH 16, 2012) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF CENTRAL STATION BELGIAN FLAG AT HALF MAST OUTSIDE OF STATION INTERIOR OF STATION VARIOUS OF SCREEN SHOWING DEPARTURES AND ANNOUNCING MINUTE SILENCE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERING FOR SILENCE CLOCK ON WALL VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOLDING SILENCE LOMMEL, BELGIUM (MARCH 16, 2012) (REUTERS) MOURNERS AND JOURNALISTS LOOKING AT CANDLES AND FLOWERS POLICEMEN SALUTING VARIOUS OF MOURNERS HOLDING SILENCE EXTERIOR OF MUNICIPALITY / JOURNALISTS AND PEOPLE COMING OUT OF BUILDING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOLDING HANDS IN FRONT OF BUILDING LOMMEL MAYOR PETER VANVELTHOVEN PUTTING HAND ON HIS HEART PEOPLE GATHERED IN FRONT OF BUILDING PEOPLE HOLDING HANDS MAYOR ENDING MINUTE SILENCE AND WALKING AWAY PEOPLE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER AS THEY ENTER BUILDING
- Reuters ID: LVABZGNWWGX2H1HVOVSWKT9IYG5H
- Location: Belgium, Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Duration: 00:02:41
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Politics
- Story Text: A minute of silence was held across Belgium on Friday (March 16) to mourn the victims of a Swiss bus crash that killed 28 people.
Public transport came to a halt at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) whilst churches and cathedrals rang bells for several minutes after the silence. Radio stations changed their playlists to reflect the sombre mood.
Belgium is holding a day of mourning to remember the victims, most of them 12 years old, who were returning from a ski trip to the Belgian towns of Heverlee and Lommel when their bus crashed into the wall of a tunnel in the Valais region of Switzerland.
Flags were flown at half-mast on public buildings across Belgium, the Netherlands and the Swiss canton of Valais where the accident happened.
Six Dutch children were killed in the crash and a further four were injured. Official British sources said one of the dead was an 11-year-old with joint Belgian-British nationality.
Swiss authorities were carrying out an autopsy on the bus drivers' bodies to see if they might yield clues to the cause of the accident.
Six children who survived with minor injuries returned home on Thursday, Belgian authorities said. A Swiss hospital spokeswoman said a further two were also on their way, leaving 16 still in hospital, including three in critical condition.
Earlier on Friday, Belgian military aircraft flew home the bodies of 22 children and six adults killed to Melsbroek military airport.
Friday's national day of mourning is Belgium's first since 2004, called to remember 24 people killed in a gas explosion near the town of Ghislenghien.
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