West Point High students stuck in Europe due to ash cloud

WEST POINT, AL (WBRC) - It was supposed to be the trip of their lifetime for eight West Point High students who spent spring break touring the countryside and cities of Europe, but a huge volcanic ash cloud would quickly put a damper on things.

"We were on the night train from Paris and some passengers were talking about this volcanic eruption," said History teacher Lachlan Powell from Rome Tuesday afternoon.

Powell organized the trip and says many students became despondent after learning their return flight, like so many others, had been cancelled.  "It's tough on the students because prom is Saturday and they're worried about that."

Many of them have been keeping in touch with family and friends back home by texting or emailing.

Powell says the group's tour company had put them up in a hotel in Rome and given them extra perks, like Tuesday's trip to Pompeii.

"No, it was not part of the original trip," said West Point High Principal Darrell Brock.  "It would have cost and extra 100 – 150-dollars.  So they're getting in some extra sightseeing in."

At this point, the students are expected to return home Friday night, just in time for prom.

"I'm not too worried.  I just hope they'll make it back safe," said senior class president Kaitlin Chappell.

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