NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 100 Brooklyn students arrived at home Tuesday after a field trip turned into an 11-hour sleepover on the side of a highway.
Family members burst into cheers when the buses arrived at Fort Hamilton High School in the morning.
“I’m so proud of her and I’m happy she’s home,” parent Christina Randazzo told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang. “It’s just great to know they are home and safe.”
Her daughter, Bianca, was one of 130 students who were stranded on the side of a Florida highway for nearly half a day.
“It was hard. We had no air conditioner, so it was hot and muggy,” Bianca said.
It was a trip described as “torturous, horrible, awful,” by student Leslie Chen.
Last Wednesday, the marching band, orchestra and chorus traveled to Disney World to participate in a music competition.
But around 11 p.m. Sunday, just minutes after hitting the road to come home, one of their three buses broke down outside of Orlando.
“The outlets went out so you couldn’t charge your phone to tell anyone anything,” student Sage Harrison said. “It was just terrible.”
“What I was most worried about was breakfast. I was really hungry,” Chen added.
Vice Principal Thomas Oberle also stopped the other two buses to keep everyone together. He said the bus company’s lack of communication was frustrating.
“I didn’t get the answers to the solution,” he said. “They were giving me the situation, ‘this didn’t work, that’ — but we didn’t get a result.”
Despite the ordeal, students said it all worked out in the end. The marching band brought home a first-place trophy.
“I love these people, and it was great to be with them. If there’s anyone I want to be stranded with, it’s them,” chorus member Breanna Gilliland said.
A spokesperson for the bus company, Suburban Transit, said a maintenance crew could not make repairs immediately, and that it took time for a replacement bus to arrive. The company issued a statement that read in part: “We sincerely apologize to all affected for the inconvenience. Safety is our number one priority.”
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