Hungary observed a national day of mourning on Monday following Friday night’s tragic bus accident near Verona, Italy, in which dozens of students and teachers from Budapest’s Szinyei Merse Pál Gimnázium were either killed or wounded after their bus ran into a concrete pillar and caught fire.
An official event was held in front of Parliament in the Kossuth Lajos square where Hungarian President János Áder, Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán offered condolences to the victims and their families.
Bishop László Bíró delivered a prayer after the Hungarian flag was lowered to half-mast. A black flag of mourning was displayed at Parliament and black ribbons were attached to buses, trolley buses, trams and subway cars in the country’s capital.
Following the event, President Áder and his wife (pictured above) went to Szinyei Merse Pál where they paid their respects to the victims’ families, friends and colleagues gathered at a makeshift memorial in front of the school. Many students turned out despite school being out of session on Monday due to a previously planned teacher conference.
mno.hu reports that most of the survivors have already returned to Hungary, many in shock. Two victims remain in critical condition at a hospital in Verona.