The grief inside St Pieterskerk Cathedral in the Leuven suburb of Heverlee was almost palpable.
Twenty-four pupils from the community’s Catholic school were on the ski trip – some of them never to return, including one teacher and an assistant.
With an overwhelming need to mourn together and support each other, a special service was held for all those affected by the tragedy – the cathedral was filled to capacity.
Our reporter in Leuven, Audrey Tilve said:
“During the service the school’s priest momentarily lost his voice, it proving too difficult to find the right words to meet the sorrow that filled the whole cathedral. For those present at the commemoration – the school’s staff, other pupils and the local residents – coming to pray here was the first step towards trying to accept the inconceivable.”