Vancouver students in Nice during Bastille Day attack - KPTV - FOX 12

Vancouver students in Nice during Bastille Day attack

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A group of students from Vancouver was in Nice, France, during the Bastille Day attack Thursday, and while they are all safe and accounted for, they were only about a block away when the violence took place.

About 20 French students from Columbia River High School made the trip, which was not organized by the school district but rather by a third-party tour company called EF Educational Tours.

The family of one of the students on the trip gave FOX 12 permission to share their Facebook posts about learning of the violence and their daughter’s safety in the wake of the attack.Jason and Jennifer Rodgers wrote:

“I just spoke with our daughter Hope who was a block away from this accident in Nice, France. Everyone in the group is back at the hotel safe. She is in a little bit of shock due to being caught up in the running, pushing, gun fire and screaming.”

They also posted the notice that parents received from the teacher with the group:

“I wanted to update you about our trip so far. We had a great first two days in the French Riviera. However, there was an unfortunate event that happened this evening. Some of us went down to watch the fireworks because the 14th of July is their national holiday. On the way back there was an attack on the crowd of people, we are not sure if this was terrorist related. All of your children are safe and accounted for and are probably sleeping at this time. I wanted to be the first to tell you, all of your children handled the situation with poise and remained calm. We will be leaving Nice first thing tomorrow morning.”

The tour company, which has a North American headquarters in Massachusetts and an office in Denver, provided the following statement to FOX 12:

“The safety of our travelers is always our top priority.  We have been in touch with the group from Columbia River High School and can confirm that everyone is safe and accounted for. 

At the time of the tragic attacks in Nice, the group was at their hotel located several blocks from the location of the attack.  The group transferred via private coach to its next destination in the Provence Region of France earlier this morning, after which the group will continue on to Paris where they will remain for several days before returning home next week. 

One of the main reasons why educators choose to work with EF is our 50 year legacy of putting student safety first and the fact that we have regional offices with support staff trained in emergency response in nearly every destination we travel. 

We are continuing to monitor the situation with our European offices and the State Department, and at this time we are only rerouting groups scheduled to travel to Nice.  In the event of an emergency, we can make changes to itineraries and reroute groups immediately. 

All of our thoughts are with the victims and families affected by this senseless attack.”

The school group is scheduled to return to Portland on July 20.

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