28 Belgians die in Swiss bus accident (Third Lead)March 14th, 2012 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS
Geneva, March 14 (IANS) At least 28 Belgians, including 22 children, were killed in a horrific accident inside a tunnel in Switzerland, police said Wednesday. Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said it was a “tragic day” for Belgium.
The accident took place around 9.15 p.m. Tuesday near Sierre town when 50 Belgian students and two drivers in the bus were returning from a ski tour in Switzerland, said police officer Christian Varone.
Twentuy-four others were injured in the accident, Xinhua reported.
The school children were from the towns of Lommel and Heverlee in Belgium. BBC said the children had spent a week in Val d’Anniviers in the Swiss Alps.
The bus hit the left side of the tunnel, veered right and crashed into an emergency lane inside the tunnel.
The Belgian prime minister expressed his dismay over the tragedy. “It is a tragic day for the whole of Belgium,” he said.
Belgian ambassador to Switzerland Jan Lunks said the whole of Belgium was shocked, and expressed gratitude to the timely rescue mission by the Swiss authorities.
Eight helicopters and 12 ambulances were mobilised to rush the injured to hospital.
There were nine Dutch children in the bus, eight of whom living in Belgium and one living in the Netherlands. Their fate was unknown.
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Tags: ambulances, anniviers, belgian prime minister, belgian students, belgians, bus accident, dismay, dutch children, elio di rupo, heverlee, horrific accident, living in belgium, living in the netherlands, lommel, rescue mission, ski tour, swiss alps, swiss authorities, varone, xinhua