Pupils at a West Midlands school have been left stranded in the US for five days after a hotel inadvertently “shredded” their passports, parents have said.
Students from Barr Beacon High School in Walsall had travelled for a ski trip to Lincoln, New Hampshire, only to find that the hotel they were staying at had accidentally destroyed the travel documents.
Speaking to the local paper The Express and Star, one parent whose child is currently stranded said: “I could not believe my eyes when I was reading the email about the emergency travel documents.
“How can a hotel shred 41 passports? It is not like they were pieces of paper, they were actual passports.”
The Telegraph has contacted Kancamagus Lodge, the hotel where the pupils were staying, for further details on why the documents had been destroyed.
Katie Hibbs, the headteacher of the school, said: “Unfortunately, the hotel managed to destroy the passports in their care, which has led to all those affected having to apply for emergency travel documents.
“The group are at the British Embassy in New York today (27 February) to finalise all of the documents before they fly home.”
The school trip was initially expected to return to Walsall on Friday, but are now set to fly back on Wednesday, five days later than planned.
During the extended stay, teachers had to arrange impromptu sightseeing tours in New York for the students.
Photos on the school’s social media shows the students on open top bus tours and the top of one of the city’s skyscrapers.
Mrs Hibbs told the BBC that four staff members in New York were now “supporting pupils to explore the city on a dwindling budget”.
Barr Beacon is a state academy school in the West Midlands town, which was given a ‘good’ rating in its last Ofsted inspection.
The ski trip to Hampshire is one of several long-haul trips that it offers, with students also visiting Japan and Orlando in recent years.
A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it was supporting the school to help them with emergency documents and get the children back home as soon as possible. (Telegraph)