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At least 22 children dead after Swiss bus crash

A bus carrying 52 people returning from a ski holiday crashed into a wall in a Swiss tunnel last night killing 28, including at least 22 schoolchildren.

A rescue helicopter is airborne as rescue worker stand in front of the tunnel entrance after a bus crashed in the tunnel, in Sierre, Switzerland, early Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A rescue helicopter is airborne as rescue worker stand in front of the tunnel entrance after a bus crashed in the tunnel, in Sierre, Switzerland, early Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Image: AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron

A BUS CARRYING Belgian students returning from a ski holiday crashed into a wall in a Swiss tunnel, killing 28 people, according to local police.

At least 22 of those killed were children, and another 24 students were hospitalised with injuries, Valais cantonal (state) police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told The Associated Press.

The bus carrying 52 people crashed around 9 pm local time in a tunnel at Sierre, Switzerland, near popular ski areas in the Swiss Alps.

A rescue helicopter and ambulances were called in to carry the injured.

Belgian media reported that the children were from two towns, Lommel, east of Antwerp, and Heverlee, near Leuven. A government spokesman said a crisis center has been set up and an emergency number provided for families.

Didier Reynders, the Belgian foreign minister, said authorities were still busy identifying all the victims.

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“It is incomprehensible. There were three buses and only one was in (an) accident without any contact with another vehicle,” he said. “It hit a wall in a tunnel.”

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