North York high-school students stranded in Brussels after terrorist attacks
The blown out facade of the terminal is seen, centre, at Zaventem airport, one of the sites of two deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (AP / Peter Dejong)
Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, March 22, 2016 1:47PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 22, 2016 2:25PM EDT
A group of Toronto high school students are stranded in Brussels after their flight home from a school trip was cancelled because of a terrorist attack at the airport Tuesday.
Students from Crescent School in North York, near Bayview and Lawrence avenues, were travelling back to Toronto from an outreach trip in India when their flight landed for a layover in Brussels.
Crescent School’s deputy headmaster, Colin Lowndes, told CTV Toronto that the flight landed after the explosions occurred. Lowndes said all passengers aboard the plane, including the students, were quickly forced off the plane and asked to wait at the hangar.
All nine students, who range from grade nine to 12, and two supervising teachers have all been confirmed safe.
Domenica Ganguli, who is in contact with the group in Brussels, told CTV Toronto that the students and teachers have been transported to a convention center where they are being provided food and water.
Phone chargers were not allowed in carry on bags so the students are alternating between phones to contact family in order to preserve battery life.
"All boys are well or so we are told... just tired," Ganguli said in an email.
Lowndes confirmed that the school has been in contact with the students’ families by email and phone. The school has been working with a travel agency to get all involved home.
Ganguli said everyone has been registered for return flights but there is no confirmation on when that will be.
Brussels Airport is currently closed and will undergo evaluation on Wednesday to decide if it will reopen on Thursday, the Brussels Airport Company CEO Arnaud Feist stated on Twitter.
The airport will be closed tomorrow, 23 March. Tomorrow we'll evaluate & decide if @BrusselsAirport will resume operations on Thursday .— Arnaud Feist (@arnaudfeist) March 22, 2016
Every year, Crescent School organizes four trips to various locations over the March break period. Lowndes said that these trips are a long-standing tradition for the independent private boys school.