The teenage girl was at summer camp in a holiday center in Rendeux, a village in the province of Luxembourg. She slipped around 6:30 PM on Wednesday evening and was swept by a river. “The children were outside,” says an employee of the CIRAC holiday center, where the group was staying. “At our residence, a small river flows, a tributary of the Ourthe. On Wednesday, that river suddenly started to rise enormously in ten minutes.’
The girl was near a bridge, above that river. “She slipped and ended up in the water. She was immediately drawn in.”
Emergency services immediately began searching for her on Wednesday evening. “Until darkness made that impossible,” says the holiday center.
“The search resumed on Thursday morning, but the rescue had to be interrupted by weather conditions,” said Sarah Pollet of the Luxembourg prosecutor’s office. “We will continue our search as soon as it is possible.”
‘Hope for a good outcome’
The girl was part of a group of 30 Belgian and Dutch children from the organization UWC Belgium. The international organization UWC has 18 secondary schools worldwide, for students from 150 countries. The organization mainly wants to bring together young people from different worlds and cultures.
“We are still hoping for a good outcome,” says UWC Belgium spokesperson Basiel Bogaerts. “It is about a girl who lives in Belgium.”
Debates and theater
“These children took part in a ‘short course‘, a summer camp.” According to the website of UWC Belgium, this is a camp from 10 to 23 July, in the Ardennes. 30 children take part, between the ages of 15 and 19. They participate in workshops, debates, theater and games.
Due to the corona pandemic, only children living in Belgium could participate this year.
The other children receive assistance from the police and victim support. “A number of the children have indicated that they want to go home,” says Bogaerts. “We are now looking at how to proceed, and how the group can best go through this processing process.”
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