Residents of the Belgian town of Heverlee say they are stunned at the news that children from one of their local schools were killed or injured in the Swiss coach crash.
The coach was carrying 52 people, mostly Belgian nationals, inluding 44 children home from a ski trip in the canton of Valais when it crashed head-on into a tunnel wall.
Twenty-eight people died, including 22 children.
As relatives rushed to Switzerland to be with those who were injured, a crisis centre has been set up to provide more information families and friends.
“The other children are not going to class, there is no class today, because also the teachers are very emotional. So its not possible to give classes,” said Marc Vranckix, Police Commissioner for the Leuven region.
Officials in both Heverlee and Lommet are arranging for parents and children to receive psychological support.
Passers-by said it could to take a long time for the young people of both Flemish towns to come to terms with the fact that at least 22 of their friends won’t be coming back.