Expatica news

Belgium ‘weeps for its children’ after crash

Belgians were in mourning on Thursday after 22 children died in a bus crash in Switzerland, with newspapers bemoaning the national tragedy.

“Belgium Weeps for its Children,” read the headline in the French-language newspaper la Derniere Heure as people called into morning radio shows to express their sorrow over the accident in a Swiss tunnel late on Tuesday.

“State of Shock,” blared the newspaper Le Soir in a dark front page with a picture of the tunnel, summing up the general mood as relatives of the victims, who included six adults, arrived at a Swiss morgue Thursday to identify the bodies.

Recalling that the children had posted cheerful messages on a blog about their ski trip in the Swiss Alps, Le Soir’s editorial said: “We have all awaited such messages anxiously at one time after seeing our children board a bus or a train for their beautiful trip.”

Newspapers in the Flemish region of Belgium, home to the two Catholic schools that the 11- and 12-year-old children attended, dedicated dozens of pages to the tragedy.

The daily De Morgen said: “There is no satisfactory answer to this question: why my child?”

The newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, describing the “Immense Sorrow,” published photos of the 28 dead and 24 injured people on its front page.

“A school ski trip is not supposed to end this way,” an editorial said.

In an editorial De Standaard described it as the “worst nightmare” because it “touches us where we are most vulnerable: our children.”