Seven children from Saint Lambertus school died in the crash. Two others are still in a coma. A teacher and a class assistant were also killed. For many, it will have been the first holiday abroad without their parents.
Chantal Deprez is one of several visitors who feel they just have to be here: “It could’ve been my little children on board. It’s so tragic. We’re powerless but we want to help.”
For the local authorities, that help will come through giving emotional support to anyone who needs it.
The Flemish Education Minister Pascal Smet said:“We will, as a ministry, give more support to the schools, here and in Lommel, to engage in psychologists, to engage more teachers because it’s a very tough time for them all and they need also time to express himself. So we will give them the possibility to do that”.
Heverlee is a small community and that may help people come together to grieve. Our correspondent in the town, Gulsum Alan, says they are not alone in their grieve as messages of condolence are coming in from all over the world.