Belgium held a minute's silence at 11:am on Friday to commemorate the deaths of 22 children and six adults who died in a coach crash in Switzerland.

The country of 11 million people came to a standstill for the minute's silence at 11:am, with church bells ringing out at St Jospeh's Catholic church, next to the Stekske school in Lommel, which lost 15 children and two teachers in the crash.

Flags were flown at half-mast during the silence and drivers of cars and public transport switched off their engines as a mark of respect. At the end of the minute's silence, mourning bells rang out for a full five minutes.

Two planes carrying the bodies of those killed in the crash landed at Melsbroek military airport in Belgium in the morning preceding the silence.

The tourist bus carrying 52 people crashed into a wall inside a tunnel on the way back from a skiing trip the children attended.

Twenty-two of the dead were from Belgian nationals while the other six more were from the Netherlands. One of the victims, Sebastian Bowles, 11, has dual British-Belgian nationality and had been a pupil at St Lambertus School in Heverlee in Belgium.

All of the adults on board the coach were killed in the crash.

Eight children who survived the accident were flown back to Belgium in a military aircraft, where their loved one awaited them at Melsbroek military airport near Brussels.

Three children who were injured after the crash remain in in critical condition, a Swiss hospital spokeswoman said.

Authorities have refused to comment on suggestions the driver of the coach may have been changing a DVD player at the time of the crash.

An autopsy of both the driver's Paul van de Velde, 52, and Geert Michiels, 35, found that neither of them had been drunk or ill at the time of the crash.

A memorial service was held in Lommel on Thursday evening with 2,500 people in attendance, police told the AFP.