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A town in mourning for its children

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A town in mourning for its children


The Stekske primary school in Lommel, close to the Dutch border, lies further north than St. Lambertus in Heverlee. Now they share the bitter grief of losing pupils and staff in the crash.

The school in the town of around 35,000 remained open during the day. As at Heverlee psychologists and medical personnel were on hand to support and assist the bereaved. The Bishop of Hasselt, Monsignor Patrick Hoojmaertens was also present.

“I have seen many tears and confusion, so to speak. There have been questions, is it that our son, our daughter who is among them? One can’t find any words, in moments like this one can only hope and pray. That is also how I feel,” he said.

Twenty two 12-year-olds from Stekske’s classrooms were aboard the coach. It is understood two of the teachers from the school were also killed in the crash as Kris Verduynkt, Deputy Mayor of Lommel explained. “Every accident is serious. It is so many kids in this one it’s really terrible. Also two adults from the school, that is terrible too.”

Towards the end of their holiday the pupils had been writing a blog, saying they were, “looking forward to getting home”.

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