Dutch kids back home after bus accident in France; 4 teachers still in hospital
All 50 Dutch kids involved in a bus accident on the A6 in northern France on Thursday morning, are back home. They arrived at the Strabrecht College in Geldorp around 8:30 p.m. Four teachers are still in the hospital, three for observation. The critically injured bus driver is also still hospitalized, NOS reports.
Before heading home, the kids and their parents first gathered in the school's aula. It was an emotional meeting, department director at the school Hans Abels said to NOS. "You can imagine that if you get a message 'something is wrong with your child' at 4:30 in the morning, and you have to wait until 20:30 before you can put your arms around your child again, then there will definitely be tears."
After the shock of the bus accident, 16 students refused to return home with the replacement bus sent for them. Parents drove to Bourbourg to pick them up. The bus and the parents' cars were escorted to the French-Belgian border by the French police. "That was the choice of the children, and we respect that of course", Abels said. "We especially want to do justice to all the emotions currently playing. Of course we also understand the parents' concerns."
The teachers were sitting in the front of the bus when it hit a truck early on Thursday morning. They and the bus driver sustained the worst of the injuries. According to Abels, the teachers' injuries especially affected the students, who are all around the age of 15 years old. "They saw that their teachers were trapped and injured. They did not know how they were doing. That made an enormous impression", he said to the broadcaster. After the accident, the students helped each other and their teachers out of the bus.