21/03/2012 08:26 GMT

Swiss Coach Crash: Royals Attend Memorial For Dead Belgian Children (PICTURES)

Thousands attended a memorial service in Belgium for 15 children and two adults who died in a coach crash in Switzerland last week.

The service, attended by the King of Belgium Albert II and Belgian prime minister Elio Di Rupo, was televised in the in the country and attended by an estimated 14,000 - with some watching the proceedings on screens outside the hall.

Twenty-two children and six adults died in the accident, the cause of which is not yet known. One grieving parent addressed the crowd saying their daughter was "a wild thing, a beautiful girl, a spinning cat.. you were a wonder."

The mayor of the town where most of the children were from, Lommel, asked during the service: "Is there anything worse than parents who lose what they love most?"

Some of those who died in the crash were Dutch nationals, and the King of Belgium was joined at the service by Prince Willem Alexander, the Dutch Crown prince and the prime minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte.

The memorial will be followed by private burials attended by the victim's families.

Coach crash tragedy