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Children back home

Last night in Jurbise, joy and emotion, intertwined, reigned in the municipal crisis center. Arrived at 16 p.m., two buses brought back to this municipality of Hainaut the children unscathed or the least affected by the bus accident in the Loiret. The most seriously affected were followed by ambulance or plane. Carefully protected from journalists, at their request, the first words of the families were to thank the French emergency services and especially the volunteers at the French Red Cross who assisted “ wonderfully their children. But after the first relief, some memories of the previous day's anxiety come back.

Throughout the morning, the balance sheets changed, explains a witness. Benoît Mol, father of Sophie, one of the children who appeared on the first list of injured, says: “ When we left we just knew at least for one of our daughters that there was not too much of a problem. It was along the way that we had more complete information. ". In fact, if the list of the most seriously injured was known very quickly - " When I arrived, at 10 a.m., we already had a very precise list explains Robert Javaux, of the Belgian Red Cross -, the information was more laborious for the less affected children. A delay that does not include the deputy director of the Orleans Regional Hospital, Robert Bousiges. " At the end of the morning, we had the complete list of hospitalized children, both 5 seriously injured and 33 slightly injured. If the Belgian authorities did not have this list, I would like someone to explain it to me. he comments.

In fact the worst uncertainty was about the return of the children. " There was a moment of hesitation observes Robert Javaux. " We believe the children were coming. And the French did not want to let the children leave, fearing that they would meet their parents on the road”. A misunderstanding which, if it did not cost a life, nevertheless put the nerves to the test. A lesson for relief managers. “There are always after such an accident concludes the head of the Belgian Red Cross...

Nicolas Gros-Verheyde, published in France-Soir, July 2000

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).