School children from Leeds in Belgian hospital after being taken ill


Fifty children and members of staff from a Leeds school have been taken to hospital in Belgium after they were taken ill while returning from a school trip.

Those affected, who are from Guiseley School, were on a short tour of First World War related sites in Belgium and France when they were apparently struck down with food poisoning as they approached the ferry terminal in Zeebrugge.

Paul Clayton, acting co-headteacher of the school, said on Tuesday: "Whilst travelling back from a school trip to Belgium and France, a number of our staff and children were taken ill.

"Both children and staff have been checked by doctors and while their conditions are not thought to be serious or contagious, as a precaution, they were kept in hospital and monitored overnight.

"Our first priority is always the safety of our children and we are in close contact with parents and carers.

"Extra staff from the school have now arrived in Belgium to assist further, and working with the Belgian authorities, we are hopeful that the children will be returning home tomorrow. We will continue to work with public health to keep a close eye on all the children in the upcoming days."

The school posted a message to parents on its website which urged parents to get in touch if they were concerned.

Belgian news reports said the children and staff became ill with food poisoning as their buses entered the ferry port.

They said those affected had been taken to seven hospitals in the area after an emergency plan was triggered. The Red Cross was also involved in the operation and those not affected were taken to a hostel.

Some of the children who were not affected but who were stranded overnight in Zeebrugge took to social media to update those at home.

One student apparently on the trip said on Twitter: "Such a scary night in Belgium."

Another posted: "THIS IS HELL #stranded"