Tunnel design possible crash cause
Swiss investigators are examining whether the design of a tunnel contributed to a school coach crash which killed 28 people.
A British boy, 11-year-old Sebastian Bowles, was among the 22 children who died following the accident inside the Tunnel de Geronde near the town of Sierre in Switzerland.
The coach is believed to have clipped a kerb inside the tunnel and veered into a lay-by which ended at a solid brick wall.
The Swiss Federal Office for Roads said it was examining whether the angle of the wall increased the severity of the crash. A facility to help disabled vehicles meant it was at a right angle to the tunnel road.
Spokesman Michael Mueller said: "In principle there is the possibility of slanting the angle of the bay, or protecting it with concrete or other elements." He added: "Such a severe and tragic accident must always be taken as an opportunity to analyse the factors that could have influenced the causes and effects of the disaster."
Meanwhile Olivier Elsig, prosecutor for Valais, the region where the town is located, said investigators are studying three possible causes: human error, a health problem with the driver or a technical problem with the coach.
With some of the 24 recovering crash victims beginning to talk about their ordeal, Belgian and Swiss newspapers were speculating that the coach driver might have been involved in efforts to change a disc on the coach's entertainment system shortly before the crash. The 52 people onboard were returning from a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps.
Sebastian's British father Edward and Belgian mother Ann returned to Belgium from Switzerland on Thursday night after identifying their son's body. The family moved to Belgium only two years ago to be close to Mrs Bowles's relatives. Mr and Mrs Bowles lived in Crouch End, north London before moving to Belgium.
Before he moved to Belgium, Sebastian was a pupil at Our Lady of Muswell Catholic Primary School in north London. Sebastian, referred to by staff as "the little cherub", was a pupil at the school between 2003 and 2009.
In a statement read out on the school steps, headteacher Teresa McBride said: "Our school community is still reeling from the shock of this terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sebastian's family at this tragic time."