Soldiers carried white coffins from airplanes to an airport hangar for a military honor as the 28 bodies of those killed in Tuesday’s bus crash returned to Belgium today.
The 22 children and 6 adults died after their bus slammed into the wall of a Swiss tunnel near Sierre; they were returning from a skiing trip.
Much of Belgium – where most of the 11- and 12-year-old students were from – observed a moment of silence today to honor the victims; 6 of the students were Dutch and 1 was English.
“The grief is so intense, but this helps,” one resident told Reuters.
The cause of the crash remains a mystery.
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Investigators have ruled out alcohol and a heart attack after early autopsy results on the driver.
“An analysis did not show alcohol in the driver,” Swiss prosecutor Olivier Elsig told BBC.
There were also reports of the driver changing a DVD, but that’s unfounded after numerous interviews with survivors, he said.
“A dozen interviews with surviving children have been carried out, without any information provided pointing to a cause or causes of the accident,” Elsig said. “Regarding the theory of inattention due to a DVD being inserted, none of them saw the driver doing anything like this.”
Police representative Renato Kalbermatten said the DVD theory is “pure speculation at this stage” after viewing closed-circuit video.
The police also ruled out speed as a factor.
“Two hypotheses remain,” Elsig told Reuters, “something technical related to a defect in the vehicle or a human cause due to an error or a lack of attention.”
Of the 24 injured in the crash, most returned home while 4 are too badly hurt to travel, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Most of the children came from 2 schools in the Flemish area of Belgium.
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