STUNNED schoolmates of a South Tyneside boy who died on a school trip to Africa have been reunited with their families.
The 11-strong party – nine pupils and two teachers – from Harton Technology College, South Shields, arrived back in the borough today after a flight from Tanzania.
Jack Burden died from a severe allergic reaction while trekking in the East African country on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old lived with his dad Steven, mum Alison – who is headteacher at the Marine Park Primary School in South Shields – and 16-year-old sister Sarah, in Midhurst Avenue, Harton.
The family have not commented on the tragedy, and it has not been announced when Jack’s body will be brought home.
The group had been on a 28-day expedition with company True Adventure, trekking in the Uluguru region of southern Tanzania and working on a charity project to construct sports facilities in a local school.
They were on day 19 of their expedition when the tragedy happened.
The team’s expedition leader administered emergency first aid, but the teenager could not be resuscitated.
The cause of the allergic reaction has not been confirmed.
His classmates were today reunited with their families at the school in Lisle Road, South Shields.
Executive headteacher Sir Ken Gibson said: “The entire party is back safely and we reunited them with their parents and families at the school.
“We’re delighted that they’re back and with their loved ones, which is where they need to be at this sad time.”Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki