Many Children Among Victims: 28 Killed as Belgian Bus Crashes in Swiss Tunnel

A coach carrying two Belgian school classes home from a skiing trip crashed in a Swiss motorway tunnel on Tuesday night, killing 28 people, 22 of them children, in one of the worst accidents in recent history. A total of 24 children on board were injured, some seriously. Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said it was "a very sad day for Belgium."

Photo Gallery: Tragedy in Switzerland Photos
REUTERS

A coach crashed into the wall of a tunnel in Switzerland on Tuesday night, killing 28 people, including 22 children, Swiss authorities said. A total of 24 other children were injured in the accident. The Belgian bus was carrying two school classes from the north Belgian region of Flanders.

The children were aged about 12 and came from the towns of Lommel and Heverlee in Flanders. The coach transporting 52 people crashed late on Tuesday evening in the Swiss canton of Valais, which borders Italy, police told a news conference early on Wednesday.

"It is an event which will really shake the whole Belgian population when they wake up this morning to such extremely sad news," Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told French radio station Europe 1.

Reynders said the bus was one of three traveling together and the other two had returned to Belgium. It was heading back to Belgium from a skiing holiday camp in Val d'Anniviers, a Valais ski resort. The front third of the bus was completely smashed in.

Cause of Crash Unknown

The bus was traveling on a highway towards Sitten from Siders when it crashed into the tunnel wall. Two drivers in the bus were also killed. The cause of the accident was not yet known, police said.

Some 200 rescuers worked through the night at the crash scene, while 12 ambulances and eight helicopters ferried the injured to hospital.

On Tuesday evening, police had initially only said the crash had caused serious injuries. The true toll wasn't announced until Wednesday morning.

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said it was a "very sad day for Belgium." The Swiss parliament held a minute's silence in honor of the dead.

cro -- with wire reports

Article...
  • For reasons of data protection and privacy, your IP address will only be stored if you are a registered user of Facebook and you are currently logged in to the service. For more detailed information, please click on the "i" symbol.
  • Post to other social networks

Keep track of the news

Stay informed with our free news services:

All news from SPIEGEL International
Twitter | RSS
All news from Europe section
RSS

SPIEGEL ONLINE 2012
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH





European Partners
Presseurop

Politiken

Corriere della Sera

The Truth about Conte

Report on Cost of Politics


Facebook
Twitter