Belgium to Hold Day of Mourning for Bus Crash Victims

Posted March 15th, 2012 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Belgian officials have declared Friday a national day of mourning after a deadly bus crash in a Swiss tunnel killed 28 people, most of them children.

Officials say the bodies will be flown back to Belgium aboard a military plane as early as Thursday evening.

Seven Dutch citizens and 21 Belgians were killed when the bus struck the wall of a tunnel in the Valais region while returning from a ski trip Tuesday evening. Among those killed were the two drivers, adult staff and 22 children from two Catholic elementary schools in Belgium.

Distraught parents flew to Switzerland Wednesday to identify the dead and attend to the surviving children.

Belgian and Swiss authorities are still trying to determine why the bus slammed into the tunnel wall near the Swiss town of Sierre. They say the vehicle was traveling at a normal speed.