Skye pupils caught up in migrants’ clash in France

The incident occurred near the Calais refugee camp. Picture: AP
The incident occurred near the Calais refugee camp. Picture: AP
Have your say

A coach carrying pupils and teachers from the Isle of Skye was attacked by migrants as it travelled through France.

Highland Council yesterday confirmed that all 35 secondary pupils and seven adults who had been on a ski trip in Italy had all safely returned.

Portree, Isle of Skye

Portree, Isle of Skye

The coach 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 area. 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. Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s director of care and learning, said: “We were alerted to the incident 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.

Drew Millar, Portree councillor

Drew Millar, Portree councillor

• READ MORE: Migrant crisis could spread from Calais - May

“No-one was injured as a result of the incident at Calais which was efficiently dealt with by our coach operator.”

Drew Millar, a councillor for the island and Highland Council’s education committee chairman, said the Portree High School students were not hurt while returning from the trip to Aosta in Italy, although one pupils is understood to have had an epileptic seizure during the journey.

Mr Millar said: “I have heard that the ­children are all safe and there were no injuries.

“It happened during the night while they were on the way home.

“The bus was attacked by migrants and at least one window was broken. It was decided that, rather than stop the bus, they should carry on. They were able to continue on and were lucky no-one was injured.”

On Saturday, the school’s Facebook page shared a photo of pupils on the trip.

The post read: “Congratulations to our amazing students who achieved their snowsports certificates after a fabulous week’s skiing.”