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Portadown College pupils hurt on Manchester trip attack were 'completely outnumbered' says student

One pupil suffered a broken elbow according to a fellow student

By Rebecca Black

A Portadown College pupil who witnessed his school mates being attacked as they left a Manchester Shopping centre has said they were "completely outnumbered".

A group of schoolchildren from Portadown were rushed to hospital after being attacked at a Manchester shopping centre.

At least 10 youngsters were injured after being threatened and then attacked by a group of youths at the Trafford Centre on Sunday night.

It is understood that the group from Portadown College were "set upon" by a local teenagers at the mammoth shopping centre at around 9pm.

Up to 10 were reported as being hurt during the incident at the centre, with several requiring medical treatment.

Portadown College pupil Craig Chambers witnessed the assault and told the BBC that at "least 40" local youths attacked his school group.

Craig said one of the pupils suffered a broken elbow in the attack while others were treated for concussion.

He said: "We were just walking out of the Trafford Centre to go to the bus and a group of people from Manchester, who were all about the same age as us, came behind us and just started a fight basically.

"We were completely outnumbered and they just started a brawl."

Greater Manchester Police vowed to catch those responsible and is examining CCTV images.

The students were on a weekend visit to the city and they had earlier attended the Manchester football derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.

Chair of Portadown College board of governors Peter Aiken said the parents of the students involved were "immediately informed" about the incident.

Mayor of Craigavon Darryn Causby said he was sorry to hear of the ordeal suffered by the youngsters.

"When groups go away we expect them to be safe, and unfortunately a group of people have taken it upon themselves to cause hurt and misery to people who are out to enjoy themselves," he said.

"I wish them all the best and hope that they can move past the disgraceful act committed by others."

Mr Aiken described the incident as "most unfortunate".

"I'm aware that some students from Portadown College on a visit to Manchester over the past weekend were set upon by a number of youths," he told the Portadown Times.

"This is most unfortunate and on behalf of the principal and the board of governors I extend our good wishes to all those on the wrong end of this incident.

"Greater Manchester Police are currently investigating the incident that took place at the Trafford Centre on Sunday.

"In accordance with college policy and safety procedures, parents and senior management were immediately informed. Following medical checks, all the students were able to progress with their visit."

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed it received a report that a group of schoolchildren from Northern Ireland had been verbally and physically abused by a group of local children.

The alleged incident took place around 9pm on Sunday at the Trafford Shopping Centre.

"Officers are investigating the report.

"They are looking at CCTV images and trying to find those responsible," the spokesman said.

Belfast Telegraph


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