Alpine crash bus 'was not speeding'




Swiss police said today that a tourist bus which crashed head-on into a concrete wall in a Swiss Alps tunnel, killing 28 people, was not speeding at the time.

Twenty-two school children and six adults including the driver were killed late last night as they returned to Belgium from a ski holiday in the Alps, police said. The crash, which sent another 24 children to hospital, left the front of the bus mangled, trapping some people inside.

The police chief described a “scene like a war”.

A Swiss prosecutor said video cameras from the tunnel captured the accident.

Olivier Elsig, prosecutor for the canton of Valais, told reporters the children on the bus were wearing seat belts and no other vehicle was involved. He spoke at a news conference today in Sion, the capital of Valais.

Elsig said investigators were looking at three possible causes for the crash - a technical problem with the bus, a health problem with the driver, or human error.

He said the seatbelts would not have helped much due to the severity of the crash. Experts will conduct a post mortem examination on the driver, he added.

Police said 21 of the dead were Belgians and seven Dutch, while 17 of the injured are Belgian, three are Dutch, one is German, one is Polish and two others have yet to be identified.

The bus, carrying 52 people, including students around the age of 12 from two different Belgian schools, hit a wall in the Tunnel de Geronde shortly after 9pm last night on a motorway near the southern town of Sierre, Switzerland, in an area of popular ski resorts.

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