Zuma sends condolences to Swiss bus victims

2012-03-15 14:52

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma extended his condolences to the Dutch and Belgian governments following the bus crash which killed 28 people, the international relations department said on Thursday.

Zuma, on behalf of the South African people and government, extended his deepest condolences to King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, their governments and bereaved families, spokesperson Clayton Monyela said.

"The president also wished all those injured a speedy recovery."

A bus crashed into a wall inside a tunnel in Sierre, Switzerland on Tuesday, killing 22 children and six teachers. The survivors were airlifted to hospital in military helicopters.

The passengers were mostly Belgian children returning from a skiing holiday in Switzerland.

"The people of South Africa wish to give you comfort and support during this tragic and sad moment of loss and grief."

The 11-year-old daughter of a former South African is among 24 survivors, Beeld reported on Thursday.
Andrea Hoebrechts, the daughter of former Bloemfontein gynaecologist Dr Hanani Pienaar, is in a critical condition in hospital in Berne.

According to Beeld, Hoebrechts had multiple fractures and serious concussion.

According to Andrea's grandfather, Professor Daan Pienaar, his granddaughter's favourite teacher was among the dead.

"The whole of Belgium and Switzerland is in a state of shock about this accident. Embassy staff are being incredibly supportive to all the parents and relatives," Pienaar was quoted saying.
- SAPA
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  switzerland  |  belgium
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