Alarm for pupils as bus win­dow bro­ken in Calais mi­grant melee

The Oban Times - - The Oban Times & West Highland Times - STEVEN RAE srae@oban­

A COACH car­ry­ing Skye school pupils had a win­dow smashed when an in­ci­dent broke out be­tween mi­grants and po­lice near the French port of Calais.

The 35 pupils from Portree High School were on their way back to Skye from a ski trip in Italy in the early hours of Sun­day, catch­ing a ferry to Dover.

An outer win­dow of dou­ble glaz­ing on the coach was bro­ken as it passed through the dis­tur­bance ac­cord­ing to High­land Coun­cil. No one was hurt in the clash.

In a state­ment, the lo­cal au­thor­ity said on Mon­day: ‘High­land Coun­cil has con­firmed that all pupils and adults who at­tended a ski trip in Italy have safely re­turned.

‘The coach in which 35 pupils and seven adults were trav­el­ling was caught up in an in­ci­dent be­tween po­lice and mi­grants as they ap­proached Calais in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing. An outer win­dow of dou­ble glaz­ing on the coach was bro­ken as it passed through the po­lice in­ci­dent. Pas­sen­gers on the coach were asleep at the time.

‘The in­ci­dent was re­ported to the po­lice and Bor­der Con­trol at Calais and the coach was deemed safe to con­tinue its jour­ney.’

De­spite a re­port in the na­tional press of one child suf­fer­ing an epilep­tic fit, other rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the coun­cil and the school said ev­ery­one on the bus re­turned home un­harmed.

Bill Alexan­der, High­land Coun­cil’s di­rec­tor of care and learn­ing said: ‘ We were alerted to the in­ci­dent yes­ter­day and par­ents were in­formed. This was an un­for­tu­nate episode to the end of what was oth­er­wise a very suc­cess­ful school ski trip. All those on the trip have re­turned safely.’

Portree High School head teacher, Cather­ine MacDon­ald, added: ‘Ev­ery­one has re­turned home safe and sound from what was a fan­tas­tic ski trip with snows­ports cer­tifi­cates un­der their belts.

‘ No one was in­jured as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent at Calais, which was ef­fi­ciently dealt with by our coach op­er­a­tor.’


CALAIS CLASH: the pupils were from Portree High School, above.

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