Mackie Pupils Stranded as Hurricane batters US

A group of ten pupils from Mackie Academy are stranded in New York as Hurricane Sandy nears the East Coast of America resulting in thousands of flights being cancelled.

The group of 10 students are all members of the Mock trial team who flew to the city last week to take part in a mock trials competition but have now been confined to their hotel as the weather closes in.

Hurricane Sandy is threatening 50 million people on America’s heavily-populated east coast and forecasters have warned that New York could bear the brunt of the one-of-a-kind superstorm.

Forecasters believe the storm could wreak havoc over 800 miles and states of emergency have been declared from North Carolina to Connecticut.

The group have been accompanied by two teachers from the school including rector Jennifer Macdonald.

Deputy head teacher of Mackie Academy, Fiona Robertson, said: “Pupils from Mackie Academy in Stonehaven flew to New York last week to represent Scotland in the Empire Mock Trial Competition.“The group was scheduled to return this evening but are currently waiting for information as to when they will now be able to return to the UK due to the disruption of flights out of New York by Hurricane Sandy.

“Mackie Academy’s head teacher, Jennifer Macdonald, who is with the group, is working with the competition organiser and British Airways to make additional arrangements for accommodation, food and flights home. She is being supported by the council.

“We are in daily contact with the group and all parents of the pupils involved will be kept up to date with any developments.”

The pupils had been due to return home to the north-east of Scotland on Tuesday morning but it is now expected it will be the weekend before they can get a flight back to Britain after thousands of flights to and from America were cancelled on Monday.