Belgium declares day of mourning

2012-03-15 17:34

Brussels - Belgium has declared a national day of mourning for Friday after the bus crash in the Swiss Alps which killed 22 children.

A minute's silence will be observed at 11:00 (local time) in schools, public offices and across the country with flags at half mast and ceremonies planned into the weekend, the government announced.

Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo told Belgian television that a first aircraft bringing the bodies of victims back from the school ski trip will land in Brussels later on Thursday.

Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said the majority of the victims would be brought back on Thursday evening, with another aircraft set to take off on Friday.

"The identification takes time," said Di Rupo.

Twenty-eight people died in the crash late on Tuesday, 21 Belgians and seven Dutch.

Another 24 children were injured, three of whom could not be moved on Thursday.

Some survivors with lesser injuries have begun their return by private means.

  • Bertverlinde - 2012-03-15 17:54

    Verschrikelijk. Mijn innig simpatie.

  • Paul - 2012-03-15 18:10

    Should be 28 minutes of silence for such a terrible accident. Condolences to families and friends. RIP.

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