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Swiss Coach Crash: British Boy Sebastian Bowles, 11, Amongst Dead (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

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Twenty-two children were killed in the coach accident in Switzerland
Twenty-two children were killed in the coach accident in Switzerland

A British boy was among the 28 people killed in a horrific bus crash in a Swiss tunnel, it has emerged.

Sebastian Bowles, 11, was one of the 22 children who died in Tuesday's crash, a spokesman for St Lambertus School in Heverlee, Belgium, confirmed.

The tourist bus carrying 52 people hit a wall returning from a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps.

Sebastian's father is believed to be a banker who moved from London two years ago to be near his wife's family.

According to The Sun, Sebastian's family previously lived in Crouch End, north London and now live in Louvain.

Click here to read a rescue worker's testimony from the "horrific" crash

The Daily Mail described Edward Bowles as a "former Whitehall mandarin". Sebastian wrote to his mother and father in a blog post two days before the crash: "Dearest Mama, Papa, Helena and Flopsy. I can already ski quite well. It’s really great here."

Above: Flags at half mast, in the Rue de la Loi, Wetstraat, at the Belgian federal parliament, on the day of national mourning.

School representative Dirk De Gendt said Sebastian's British father and Belgian mother Ann landed in Brussels on Thursday evening after identifying their son's body in Switzerland.

De Gendt said: "They landed in Brussels at 10.45pm. The mother had gone to Switzerland with a group of parents and the father had flown directly from London to Switzerland."

He appealed for the parents to be left to grieve in private.

Above: On Thursday evening players for Liege football team marked a minute's silence before their Europa League match with Hannover 96 in Germany.

Across Belgium people observed a minute's silence to remember the crash on Friday.

Meanwhile relatives of the 28 dead faced the heartbreaking task of identifying them ahead of their repatriation.

Family members were taken from a hotel in the southern Swiss town of Sion to the nearby morgue, where the bodies were being kept.

The bodies of the dead were then flown from near the crash site in two military C130 planes.

From the morgue the relatives made a poignant visit to the crash site inside the Tunnel de Geronde near Sierre town.

They placed flowers in a floral tribute to the 21 Belgian and seven Dutch victims.

Above: The wreckage of the coach

The Belgian tourist bus, which was carrying 52 people, hit a wall less than an hour after heading home from a skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps.

Twenty four other youngsters were hurt, some seriously. The Daily Mail reported that three children were still in comas in a hospital close to the crash site.

Investigations have begun to determine how a modern bus, with two rested drivers and in a tunnel considered safe, could have one of the deadliest crashes in Swiss history.

The prosecutor for the Swiss state of Valais, Olivier Elsig, said investigators were studying three possible causes of the crash - human error, a health problem with the driver or a technical problem with the bus.

Swiss and Belgian media reported that survivors of the crash claimed the driver had reached to change a disc in the onboard entertainment system shortly before the crash.

It was unclear whether that could have contributed to the crash, and neither police nor prosecutors could be reached for comment about the claim.

It was also claimed in the Belgian press that the bus crashed because it was speeding: "The coach was travelling at very high speed. It was going considerably faster than the speed limit on a stretch of road where the speed is limited to 100kmh," a senior police officer said in the Le Soir newspaper.

Above: People light candles during a memorial service at the Stekske school in Lommel, Belgium on Thursday, 15 March, 2012.

The Mail quoted a 12-year-old girl who suffered serious injuries on board the bus describing a "hard jolt" at the moment of the crash.

She said: "The seats worked loose and were flung around the bus. I was hurled forward and ended up pinned between two of the seats."


View Coach Crash in a larger map

The Daily Mirror quoted a motorist who drove into the tunnel after the crash as saying: "I saw the front seats of the bus all smashed against each other and there was blood everywhere. I saw children who were still alive waving to be saved"

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